Europe’s first electric truck corridor is live– why that’s a big deal

Europe’s first charging corridor for medium and heavy-duty electric trucks has been launched in Germany by BP Pulse.

Europe’s first electric truck corridor

Six public charging locations specifically designed with electric trucks in mind are now online, and they’re strategically sited along a 600-km (373-mile) stretch of the Rhine-Alpine corridor, across Germany. The stretch of road is part of one of the busiest road freight routes in Europe, as it connects key North Sea ports in Belgium and the Netherlands with the Mediterranean port of Genoa, Italy. It also connects a network of roads that stretch 1,300 km (808 miles) in total.

Each charging location features ultra-fast 300 kW charging stations that can charge an electric truck up to 200 km (124 miles) in around 45 minutes.

BP’s German retail brand is called Aral, and so the new chargers have been installed at Aral retail sites in Germany between the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area, northwest of Stuttgart, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, east of the Dutch border.

Aral retail sites feature hot food, restrooms, and showers for drivers to use during mandatory rest periods, in addition to EV charging in safe, well-lit, and convenient locations.

In the next six months, two more EV charging locations are scheduled to open at Aral retail sites to complete the new charging corridor.

By 2030, approximately 270,000 battery electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles are projected to be in operation in Europe, and they’re going to need up to 140,000 public and destination electric charging points.

If you create logistical convenience, drivers will switch to electric. Isn’t that Tesla’s appeal?

And creating logistical convenience for medium and heavy-duty truck drivers is a must. This is an important development for a major logistics corridor – electric truck drivers will have peace of mind, knowing that they’re going to get EV chargers at regular intervals, and they’ll be paired with convenient amenities. They don’t have time to mess around with looking for EV chargers. They’ll also expect these chargers to work consistently.

German diesel can be pumped into trucks pretty fast, so truck drivers probably won’t be initially thrilled about waiting 45 minutes to add on 200 km of range at Aral stops, and they only have a mandatory rest period after nine hours of driving. I wonder if charge time will be included in their drive-time hours, or considered rest time?

But European truck drivers eventually won’t have a choice but to adapt, since both gas and diesel vehicles will be phased out in Europe at large in the 2030s. Chances are good, though, that by next decade, there will be faster options than what BP is offering here.

For now, this is a pretty significant initial step toward truck electrification in Europe. Put the EV fast chargers where people want – and need – to use them.

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