Cross-sector consortium submits funding application for megawatt charging for commercial vehicles

    Berlin, March 20, 2021

    16 partners from industry and research under the auspices of the VDA - Demonstration route on the A2 freeway between Berlin and the Ruhr area - Electromobility also for long-distance trucks

    While electric cars and the required charging infrastructure are often discussed, less attention is paid to the fact that electrification is making massive advances in commercial vehicles as well. A cross-sector consortium under the auspices of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) submitted a funding application for megawatt charging for commercial vehicles on February 16, 2021, within the framework of the electric mobility funding guideline of the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) from December 14, 2020. The applications submitted will be processed in an accelerated approval procedure taking the current need for action on electrification in long-distance transport into account.

    The aim of the project "High-performance charging in long-distance truck traffic" (HoLa) is the planning, construction and operation of a selected high-performance charging infrastructure for battery-electric long-distance trucks. This is to take place on a demonstration route between Berlin and the Ruhr area. In addition, the project will deal with research questions relating to the later nationwide expansion of high-performance charging parks in Germany and create a blueprint for the design of charging locations.

    The HoLa project comprises four locations along the A2 freeway between Berlin and the Ruhr area, each with two high-performance charging points for the "Megawatt Charging System" (MCS), which will be set up, operated and used in real-life logistics operations. In the first phase, locations will initially be planned and built with CCS charging points for trucks, making full use of the specifications, followed by the second phase in which the MCS system is installed and commissioned. This will provide megawatt charging for long-haul heavy freight. The charging locations selected are at freeway service areas and logistics centers and commercial depots, so that various applications can be considered and evaluated.

    The consortium consists of 16 partners from industry and research under the auspices of the VDA. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI will lead the consortium and the technology consultancy P3 Automotive GmbH will lead the project as a consortium partner. Additional partners are EnBW as the operator of the charging locations, and the charging infrastructure suppliers ABB, Heliox and Siemens. The commercial vehicle manufacturers Daimler Truck, along with MAN and Scania, which belong to the TRATON Group, and Volvo are responsible for the conceptual design, provision and operation of the vehicles. Implementation will be supported by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, the University of Stuttgart, the Bauhaus University Weimar and the Technical Universities of Berlin and Dortmund. This serves the goal of gaining sufficient knowledge and using it in order to create the basis for the nationwide rollout and standardization of megawatt charging.

    Associated partners also include E.DIS Netz GmbH, Ionity, Meyer & Meyer, Tank & Rast and Netze BW GmbH.

    Due to the long lead times when approving charging locations, it is important to start the project swiftly in order to gain knowledge that will feed into the construction of a nationwide charging network and to reduce the risks to the stakeholders associated with introducing new technology, by developing and operating prototype technology. In addition, HoLa will focus on a "proof of concept" for operating battery-electric vehicles in heavy-duty commercial traffic on defined routes.

    According to the VDA, the German project is at the forefront of the international technology developments and is currently expected to put the world's first demonstration route into operation. That will create trust in the competence of the industry in Germany and in the support of infrastructure by policy-makers. The planning is based on a project duration of three and a half years, with the start of real-life logistics operations in the fall 2023. This means that preparations can be made in good time for meeting the demanding CO2 requirements in 2025.