Volvo, Traton and Daimler AG partner in EV development

Tim Campbell, Campbell's Consulting, comments on Volvo, Traton and Daimler AG joining forces to facilitate EV adoption for heavy goods vehicles

Some industries are concerned about how battery-electric propulsion will work in practice, particularly the longevity of the solution as companies begin electrifying their fleets of light goods and heavy goods vehicles.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2020, there were approximately 600,000 electric buses and 31,000 heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads across the globe. This marks the rise of electrification as a way to decarbonise the logistics industry, but there are certainly limitations as well as opportunities. 

Therefore, organisations are working together to force the industry into action and the major players in the industry are moving away from a competitive nature to collaborate on industry innovation. Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck, commented on the company’s critical partnership with some of its closest competitors, Volvo Group and Volkswagen's subsidiary, Traton.  

“It is crucial that we are now taking the initiative for building up the much-needed charging network. Still, we call on the entire industry to join in our effort. The number of charge points has to increase significantly as fast as possible to make electric long-haul trucking a viable solution for our customers.”

 An EV trucking coalition

This comment comes as the trio formalise an agreement to push electrification forward and work together as leaders in the automotive industry. The end goal of this major partnership is to help align trucking companies with the European Union’s Green Deal, which involves facilitating emissions reduction to reach carbon neutrality across freight transport networks by 2050. The joint venture is valued at around US$500.6 million and the three companies will lead the expansion of charging networks as they all recognise the importance of battery power for European logistics. This amount is enough to install 1,700 high-performance chargers that are powered by green energy. 

An evangelist and industry analyst of the topic, Tim Campbell, Managing Director of Campbell’s Consultancy, spoke at the Siemens Transform 2022 conference and highlighted some of the key differences and benefits of EV for logistics and the reasons why organisations could fall behind, particularly in the UK. 

Campbell highlights that oftentimes the lack of EV adoption, particularly in the heavy goods industry, is not governed by the vehicles more so the infrastructure behind them. 

He puts the current state of the electric trucking into perspective as he explains the size and scale of batteries. Scania trucks currently use 620kW batteries and Volvos use 540kW, which in quantities of 10 or 20 vehicles is enough power for a small village. From this perspective, Campbell says:

“There's no point in having a vehicle that can only take, not give. Then that becomes a smart grid or micro grid. These are serious pieces of kit and you know that we need to use them as assets. It’s a learning curve. We won't do it all at once, but we're slowly getting towards that.”

“Unfortunately, there are not many people that are running trucks at this moment in time or understand that issue. We're trying to do in 120 months what we did in 120 years.”

About Siemens Transform 2022

At Manchester Central, UK, Siemens hosts the Siemens Transform 2022 conference, bringing together customers and industry leaders from across the globe to showcase its innovative technologies in the realms of sustainability, manufacturing, e-mobility, charging and smart infrastructure, and connectivity. 

The two-day event always provides attendees with industry insights from a variety of speakers on different platforms, including the Theatres, Challenges Zones, and the Transform stage. 

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