Europe’s electric trucks: opportunities and infrastructure challenges

As Europe advances towards an electrified future, the shift to electric Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs) brings both substantial opportunities and considerable challenges, particularly for the EV charging infrastructure sector. Gireve's recent update sheds light on the current state and future prospects of public HDV charging infrastructure.
The image is a visual representation of the emergence of new players providing charging infrastructure dedicated to trucks
Source: Gireve

Electrification and Infrastructure Requirements

The momentum for electric HDVs is accelerating, with over 15.000 battery-electric trucks already navigating European roads. These vehicles necessitate a robust public charging infrastructure to support long-distance travel and complement inadequate depot charging facilities. The infrastructure requirements for HDVs are markedly different from those for passenger cars, opening new market opportunities for industry stakeholders.

Emerging Market Participants

Several new entities are entering the HDV charging sector. Due to the capital-intensive nature of this market, large industry players are either creating subsidiaries or forming joint ventures. A prominent example is Milence, a joint venture formed in 2022 by major European truck OEMs, aiming to deploy 1.700 charge points by 2027.

Expansion of Public Charging Stations

Over 100 MW of public charging infrastructure dedicated to HDVs has been reported, with an average power output of approximately 300 kW. Germany and Sweden are leading the charge in infrastructure deployment, thanks to companies like Aral Pulse and OKQ8. Norway is also poised for significant advancements, with recent grants awarded to deploy truck chargers along key corridors.

Technological and Strategic Developments

Although no Megawatt Charging System (MCS) has been deployed yet, plans are in the works for future implementations. Tesla, a pioneer in fast charging technology, has not announced specific plans for HDV charging in Europe, as the production of Tesla semi-trucks in the region has not commenced.

Conclusion

The electric HDV charging infrastructure is still in its early stages, with substantial growth anticipated as the total cost of ownership (TCO) parity with diesel trucks is projected to be achieved by 2027. The evolving market underscores the need for strategic data sharing and collaboration among industry participants.

As HDV electrification progresses, the development of an efficient and seamless public charging infrastructure will be vital to support the widespread adoption of electric trucks across Europe.

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