Image credits: Volvo Group
News Article

Volvo Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Traton to Deploy Charging Network

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:38

Three of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world have joined forces to advance the introduction of electric heavy-duty trucks in the EU. Volvo Trucks, Daimler Trucks, and Traton Group signed a non-binding agreement to install and operate a high-performance public charging network to support battery-electric heavy-duty trucks and buses. "The agreement lays the foundation of a future joint venture equally owned by the three parties, planning to start operations in 2022," said the three companies in a joint statement.

The companies are laying the necessary foundation so its customers make the jump to electrification. “We have powerful electromobility technologies, and now, with Daimler Truck, Traton Group and the European Green Deal, we also have an industry-wide understanding. There is also a political environment to make the fundamental progress towards sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions," said Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo Group.

Traton Group, part of Volkswagen AG, holds Scania, MAN, Volkswagen Bus and Trucks, Navistar, Rio and Traton SE. In Mexico, Traton holds 32 percent of production, 33 percent of exports and 22 percent of sales of heavy vehicles. "For the Traton Group, it is clear that the future of transport is electric. This requires the rapid development of publicly accessible charging points, especially for long-distance heavy-duty transport. We are now moving forward together with our partners, Daimler Truck and Volvo Group, to make this high-performance network a reality as quickly as possible," said Matthias Gründler, CEO of Traton Group.

Daimler Trucks holds different brands of heavy vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, FUSO, Thomas Built, Western Star and BharatBenz. In Mexico, the group holds first place in sales, exports and production of heavy vehicles. Daimler Trucks holds a 58 percent share of total commercial vehicle production in the country. Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Trucks, said that the group will continue to advance toward carbon neutrality. "It is vital that building up the right infrastructure goes hand in hand with putting CO2-neutral trucks on the road. Together with Volvo Group and the Traton Group, we are therefore very excited to take this pioneering step to establish a high-performance charging network across Europe.” 

When will electric trucks and buses arrive to Mexico?

Alternative-powered commercial vehicles, those not running on diesel or gasoline, still account for a small part of production and imports in Mexico, less than 1 percent. DINA and Kenworth are the only OEMs manufacturing electric trucks in the country. Hino and Scania are the only brands importing hybrid and natural gas vehicles, respectively.

Miguel Elizalde, industry leader for the heavy vehicle industry in Mexico explained that it may take a while for these vehicle technologies to ramp up in Mexico. "Electric vehicles are a reality and, in time, autonomous features will reach heavy vehicles given the expected ROIs. The advancement of EV trends will rely on battery life. A heavy EV requires a greater initial investment than diesel. When taking into account that the average age of Mexico’s heavy-vehicle park is 22 years for freight transportation and 19 for buses, the leap into electrification might seem complicated. Before getting to EVs, however, the market will experiment with other technologies such as hybrid and natural gas vehicles," told Elizalde to MBN.

Photo by:   Volvo Group
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst