Users are the focus
For the second time, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) has brought users, manufacturers, infrastructure operators and policy-makers together for the ‘Conference on climate-friendly commercial vehicles’ in Berlin. On 16 November 2023, around 600 people, of which 230 were on location in Berlin, discussed perspectives, framework conditions and measures for the ramp-up of climate-friendly commercial vehicles in Germany and Europe.
The conference was opened by Daniela Kluckert, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO (Spokesperson) of NOW GmbH as well as Dr. Peter Mock, Managing Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
Daniela Kluckert, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, had a positive interim review of funding so far: “We have successfully realized a key goal for our funding guideline on climate-friendly commercial vehicles (KsNI) – the market ramp-up of trucks with alternative drives was effectively stimulated in an early phase of technological development. The number of climate-friendly commercial vehicles on German roads will more than double over the coming period because of the current funding programme. I am convinced that companies that welcome the switch will have a competitive advantage that will have dividends in the future.”
Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO and Spokesperson, NOW GmbH: “Commercial vehicles with alternative drives will make road freight transport in Germany more sustainable and significantly contribute to climate targets. Building charging infrastructure for battery-electric commercial vehicles is especially important for this purpose over the coming years. A system consisting of an initial truck charging network on long-distance roads, supplemented by charging facilities in depots is required to cover all use scenarios in logistics. The practical experience reported by the companies at today’s conference confirms this.”
This year, users took centre stage at the conference on climate-friendly commercial vehicles. In the panel discussion, they spoke about their journey to trucks with battery or hydrogen fuel cell drives: from the first idea, to infrastructure planning, to the first vehicle at the depot. Specifically for this purpose, the ‘Simple charging at the depot’ guide from NOW GmbH and the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure was presented at the conference. The guide provides companies who wish to install charging infrastructure for heavy commercial vehicles on their own premises with tangible step-by-step guidelines.
The conference also looked at the current regulatory framework and gave an overview of market developments elsewhere in Europe. Another focus was placed on the development of charging and hydrogen infrastructure for climate-friendly commercial vehicles.
NOW GmbH has been supporting the federal government in its climate and industrial policy objectives since 2008. One of the most important tasks of the federally-owned company is to develop funding programmes about climate-neutral mobility and energy provision, as well as monitor and evaluate them. NOW GmbH experts manage projects in the areas of hydrogen, fuel cells, battery and renewable fuels. They reimagine mobility and fuels for cars, buses, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and airplanes – and support the establishment and further development of charging infrastructure as well as hydrogen refuelling stations for cars and trucks. The regulatory landscape is also closely monitored on national, EU and international levels.
Image: NOW/Franz Josef, Berlin