Led by Fraunhofer ISI and under the auspices of the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry), the ‘High-capacity charging in long-haul truck transport’ (»Hochleistungsladen im Lkw-Fernverkehr« (HoLa)) is one of three innovation clusters for climate-friendly truck drive technologies recently introduced by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

Specifically in the HoLa project, two high-capacity charging points with the Megawatt Charging System (MCS) are being installed at each of four locations and tested in real logistics operation. The charging points support the application of this new system in everyday operation and are the foundation for a comprehensive expansion of the technology. There are 13 partners from industry and research participating in the project, including four truck manufacturers, which officially launched today at an opening event.

In order to advance the use of battery-electric drives and especially megawatt charging for heavy commercial vehicles, high-capacity charging parks are crucial. However there are still many open questions at the moment, especially the lack of experience in setting up and operating these charging parks. This is precisely where the new ‘High-capacity charging in long-haul truck transport’ project (HoLa) comes in, which is being funded under the BMVI’s Electric Mobility funding guideline. NOW GmbH, which is responsible for the funding guideline, supports the BMVI in the implementation of the overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles, for which the HoLa project will deliver important findings. The National Centre for Charging Infrastructure, which manages activities for the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany and is commissioned by the BMVI under the umbrella of NOW GmbH, will be closely involved here and will incorporate its know-how.

Development of high-capacity charging parks for trucks along the A2 motorway

Under the auspices of the VDA and the consortium leadership of Fraunhofer ISI, a total of eight high-capacity charging points are being installed and operated at four locations. Initially CCS (Combined Charging System) charging points are being planned and constructed in a first phase and subsequently high-capacity charging points with MCS technology. The sites are located along the A2 motorway and are between the Ruhr area and Berlin. Along with motorway service stations, there are also logistics centres, in order to be able to take different use cases into account.

Dr. Patrick Plötz, who heads the project at Fraunhofer ISI, said this about the new HoLa project: “Despite technological advances and international agreements, transport-related CO2 emissions have been rising recently. Therefore it is essential to switch to climate-neutral drives, particularly in the transport sector. In order for battery-electric drives to penetrate heavy-duty transport as well, we need massive infrastructural expansion, especially when it comes to megawatt charging. In the HoLa project, we contribute the required knowledge for this through the prototypical construction and operation of high-capacity charging parks for trucks. We want to help to integrate the relevant locations for e-trucks early into logistics processes and gather user experience with this new type of fast-charging of e-trucks. We are particularly pleased to be able to avail of a cross-sectoral network of partners, which in addition to a number of research institutions, boasts energy companies, grid operators, truck manufacturers and motorway service areas among its members.” Plötz also emphasizes that close cooperation with the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure is planned as part of the project and the findings will flow directly into the development of charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles, coordinated by the Centre.

Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director (Spokesperson) of NOW GmbH: “To achieve the climate goals, the heavy road freight transport sector must do a third of its driving electrically with batteries, fuel cells, overhead lines or on the basis of electricity-based fuels. That is an enormous undertaking for the sector. As NOW GmbH, I am pleased to be able to accompany the ‘HoLa’ project, in which 20 representatives from industry and science are jointly working on the topic of megawatt charging for battery-operated heavy-duty transport in a practical and target group-oriented manner.”

The project, which has an overall budget of 27 million euros and a funding volume of 12 million euros, runs from September 2021 until the end of 2024 and is being launched today at a kick-off event with all participating partners.

You can learn more about HoLa here: www.hochleistungsladen-lkw.de