Daimler CEO Highlights Charger Shortage as Major Obstacle for Electric Trucks

Daimler CEO Highlights Charger Shortage as Major Obstacle for Electric Trucks

Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck Holding AG, the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, expressed significant concerns about the inadequate charging infrastructure which poses a threat to the transition towards zero-emission trucking. In a recent interview, Daum pointed out that the sluggish pace of developing charging stations, particularly those capable of megawatt charging required for heavy-duty trucks, is alarming. He explained that setting up such stations is not only costly but also complex, often needing the power equivalent to that used by a small town.


Despite these challenges, Daum remains optimistic about the advancements in electric truck technology and the potential for achieving price parity with diesel trucks if regulatory measures regarding carbon emissions are enforced effectively. He advocates for more robust government support to expedite the establishment of high-speed charging stations along major highways.


The urgency of this issue is underscored by the Biden administration’s recent initiative to enhance the truck charging infrastructure across key U.S. routes, particularly supporting the Freightliner and Western Star brands owned by Daimler Truck in the U.S. However, the current infrastructure is vastly insufficient, with only 72 fast-charging ports available nationwide, most of which are located in California.


In Europe, the situation is somewhat more hopeful with the European Union mandating the installation of heavy-duty vehicle chargers every 60 kilometers on major roads by 2030. This regulation aims to make electric trucks more viable compared to their diesel counterparts. Meanwhile, Daimler, along with Volvo and Volkswagen’s Traton, plans to invest $534 million to set up at least 1,700 chargers across Europe, although progress has been slow.


The transition to electric trucks is pivotal for Daimler Truck, which sold only a small fraction of its total vehicles as zero-emission last year, underscoring the need for accelerated efforts in building charging infrastructure to meet future sales goals for clean trucks.

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