No Recharging or Refueling Infrastructure for Euro Trucks Exist

The required infrastructure is almost completely absent today. The upshot is a failed regulation even if all embrace it.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (aka ACEA) has published data on the “severe lack of recharging and refueling infrastructure suitable for electric and other alternatively-powered trucks” in the EU as regulation requiring their use advances.

AutoInformed views this under the category of “legislate in haste; repent during the long leisure” of the unemployed workers caused by ruined economies. on EU - Truck Electric and Hydrogen Refueling Dearth

Well, trucks can’t pollute if they are out of fuel <grin>.

The first ‘trialogue’ meeting between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council took place on 8 January. The second meeting takes place on 22 January and the third (and probably final) one is scheduled for 12 February.

“The shocking fact is that there is not one single public charging point for long-haul trucks available today,” stated ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert. “What is more, a standard for the required high-power plugs doesn’t exist yet.”

ACEA is issuing this new data ahead of what it terms “a decisive meeting on Europe’s first-ever CO2 targets for trucks.” The meeting comes next week between representatives of the European Parliament, the 28 national governments and the European Commission as part of the ‘trialogue’ negotiations. Whether Great Britain is part of or will remain in the EU given the Brexit mess is another difficulty.

Reaching the CO2 standards proposed by the EU will only be possible with a rapid and massive market acceptance of zero- and low-emission trucks, ACEA says with much justification. While the aim is to conclude a deal on the new CO2 targets within the next few weeks, the required infrastructure is almost completely absent today and there is no clear EU action plan for its future roll-out.

According to estimates, at least 6,000 high-power charging points for electric trucks (DC >500 kW) would be needed along EU motorways by 2025/2030. In addition, another 20,000 ‘regular’ charging points suitable for trucks are required − bringing the total to 26,000.

Although high-power charging points are being rolled out for electric passenger cars along motorways, heavy-duty trucks cannot use this infrastructure because of their much higher power and energy demand, as well as the many parking spots they would need for charging along all major routes in Europe.

Similarly, hydrogen filling stations for cars are not suitable for trucks. The pressure storage is too small to meet truck demand. Some 1,000 truck-specific hydrogen stations are needed by 2025/2030, but less than 10 are available across the entire EU today – none of which are suitable for long-haul trucks.

Truck-specific public filling stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are currently present in some EU member states, but their distribution is still very patchy across Europe and the number is small.

“Policy makers must be aware of this alarming situation when agreeing future CO2 targets for trucks, as these are dependent on a massive ramp-up in sales of alternatively-powered trucks,” cautioned Jonnaert. “The targets should be set accordingly – and must be accompanied by an action plan to roll out truck-specific infrastructure across the EU. Customers cannot be expected to invest in alternatively-powered trucks if they do not have the possibility to recharge or refuel them.”

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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