Zero-Emission Trucks: Episode 4 – Reaching a fully operational network
In this fourth episode of the #ZeroEmissionTrucks video series, MEP Ismail Ertug and Martin Daum (Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck) discuss the need for high ambition targets for infrastructure to ensure a swift market uptake of new trucks.
#ZeroEmissionTrucks are already here. All European manufacturers have either already started or are about to start series production of their new trucks; battery electric first and hydrogen-powered soon thereafter. However, the risk today is that infrastructure will be a bottleneck that significantly slows down their market uptake.
“I remember those experts who told us that it will never be possible to have hydrogen fuel cell trucks and now I see it. But nevertheless, don’t forget the electrical side. We need both technologies. This is my firm belief,” stated MEP Ismail Ertug.
“The promise we gave that we, as an industry, would come out with a broad portfolio applicable for a lot of applications is coming true. Now we have to work on the infrastructure,” warned Martin Daum.
The recent vote by the European Parliament on the European Commission’s proposed Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) marks a milestone for the road transport sector.
Policy makers, especially member states, now need to agree on setting binding and ambitious targets for infrastructure roll-out, matching truck manufacturers’ commitment by deploying charging points and a suitable number of hydrogen refuelling stations, to reach a fully operational network.
Ertug clarified: “There is no doubt that we need high ambition targets for infrastructure.”
Customers, transport and logistic operators have a key role to play. But the right framework conditions must be put in place in order to incentivise them to buy these new trucks.
Daum: “We need everyone in the EU. Because our customers don’t care, they have to deliver loads wherever their customers want them to drive to. My magic formula is always: the offering from the industry, infrastructure and cost parity. And if one thing is not working, it’s very difficult in the commercial vehicle industry.”
And as truck manufacturers have already dozens of #ZeroEmissionTrucks, keeping the momentum is important. “I told the Commission, and I will also tell Council, the technology is there. We now have to deploy the infrastructure. If we don’t do this, we will lose it,” concluded MEP Ertug.
#ZeroEmissionTrucks are here. We now have to deploy the infrastructure. If we don’t do this, we will lose it.