Global News Roundup: Europe urged to accelerate its transition to carbon neutrality – Fuel Smarts


Traton’s goal is for 50% of its long-haul trucks to be zero emissions by 2030, provided the corresponding regulatory mechanisms and infrastructure are in place.

Photo: Scania


In Europe, the automotive (including heavy goods vehicles), power generation, electricity and charging infrastructure industries have come together to urge the European Parliament and the Council to adopt strong and interconnected to accelerate the transition to zero-emission and CO2-neutral mobility.

First and foremost, there is an urgent need to increase investment in charging and refueling infrastructure for alternatively powered cars, vans, trucks and buses, according to the industry coalition.

To make hydrogen charging and refueling stations commercially viable during the EV ramp-up phase, public support, financial incentives, co-funding and mandatory targets are needed. The move towards climate-neutral transport and mobility only makes sense if the transition to zero-emission energy takes place in parallel. The group said government incentives are needed to encourage the use of zero-emission energy in the transport sector.

According to a new cross-sector study based on McKinsey analysis, up to 6.8 million public charging stations would be needed in the EU by 2030 to achieve the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for passenger cars. This means that up to 14,000 public charging stations for all vehicle segments are expected to be installed every week across the EU, compared to less than 2,000 per week currently.

And for heavy loads, the locations, space and power levels needed are significantly different from passenger cars. According to the research paper, trucks will need 279,000 charging stations by 2030, 84% of which will be at fleet hubs. The remaining charging stations will mainly be fast public charging stations along the highway (36,000) and public charging stations at night (9,000).

Car and truck manufacturers were represented in the coalition by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers.

Traton invests in battery electric R&D

Traton Group said it plans to invest 2.6 billion euros (about $2.9 billion) in electric mobility research and development by 2026, up from a previous budget of 1. 6 billion euros (about $1.8 billion) by 2025. At the same time, the company, which includes brands such as Scania and Navistar, is reducing its investment in conventional transmissions.

Battery-electric drives “are clearly the greenest, fastest and most affordable solution for our customers, even for long-distance transport, although hydrogen can be a useful addition in certain niches”, said said Christian Levin, CEO of Traton. “Since trucks are mostly loaded during peaks in supply and troughs in demand, even the electrical load on the grid is moderate. This is why we must focus on creating the infrastructure that we so urgently need.

Traton intends to work with Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group to establish a public charging network for heavy trucks and electric coaches in a joint venture. The plan is to install at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging stations across Europe within five years of the creation of the joint venture.

Brief news from around the world

Amazon’s electric vehicles in the UK: For the first time, Amazon is using electric trucks in its UK delivery fleet. The five 37-tonne all-electric vehicles are the first of nine electric heavy-duty vehicles expected by the end of 2022, joining more than 1,000 electric delivery vans currently on the road in the UK. The electric trucks will use first-of-its-kind 360kW electric fast charging stations at Amazon sites in Tilbury and Milton Keynes.

Global Truck Sales Forecast: The number of medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses sold worldwide is expected to increase by 4.2% per year until 2025, according to “Global Medium- & Heavy-Duty Trucks & Buses”, a report by Freedonia Focus Reports. Rising global manufacturing and construction activity will drive demand for truck freight services, while ongoing technological developments such as increased fuel efficiency are expected to drive replacement demand. The report predicts that the shortage of semiconductors will end by 2023.

Boost for the Hyundai hydrogen truck: After a year, transport and logistics service provider Gebrüder Weiss gave the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell truck high marks. Since the delivery of the 36-tonne truck in January 2021, it has covered approximately 70,000 kilometres, used daily in short-haul general cargo transport. The consumption was even lower than the value indicated by the manufacturer, and in one year there was only one visit to the workshop for the technical control. Gebrüder Weiss plans to use hydrogen trucks in Austria and southern Germany in the future. A limiting factor is the availability of hydrogen filling stations, nine of which already exist in Switzerland.

Hotline Global is produced in partnership with UK based Truck & Bus Builder. A free trial subscription at T&BB is available. This news first appeared in the January/February issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.

Mary I. Bruner