For the first time, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) is bringing together policymakers, manufacturers and infrastructure operators together for a ‘Specialist Conference on Climate-Friendly Commercial Vehicles’. On 17 November 2022 in Berlin, around 700 people, of whom around 200 attended in person, discussed perspectives, framework conditions and measures for climate-friendly commercial vehicles in Germany and Europe.
The conference was opened by Hartmut Höppner, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, Dr. Axel Volkery, Deputy Head of Unit, Sustainable and Intelligent Transport in the European Commission as well as Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO & Spokesperson of NOW GmbH.
In his presentation, Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, outlines the current state of implementation and the planned next steps in terms of the overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles.
Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport: “The market ramp-up of emission-free heavy-duty commercial vehicles has begun and it will develop in a very dynamic way. Interest in alternative drives among logistics companies and haulage companies is huge. Manufacturers expect that sales figures for trucks with battery or fuel cell drives will dramatically increase in the coming years. That’s why we want to and must, decisively advance the infrastructure for climate-friendly commercial vehicles. Our Charging Infrastructure Master Plan therefore includes a call for tender for a charging network specifically for trucks to be launched next year. Moreover, we are supporting the development of a basic network for publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations for commercial vehicles.”
A high-level panel then discusses challenges and opportunities on the road to zero-emissions road logistics with State Secretary Hartmut Höppner. The guests are Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (Verband der Automobilindustrie – VDA), Prof. Dr. Dirk Engelhardt, Spokesperson of the Board of the German Association of Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (Bundesverbands Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung (BGL)) as well as Andrees Gentzsch, Member of the Executive Board of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft).
The specialist conference on climate-friendly commercial vehicles is organized by NOW GmbH, commissioned by the Federal Transport Ministry to coordinate the implementation of the overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and the funding programme for the procurement of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and the associated infrastructure.
Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO & Spokesperson of NOW GmbH: “We are on the right path, but we need even more coordinated effort if we are going to make the mammoth task of climate-friendly road freight transport a reality. The funding for vehicle procurement is very successful, but there are still problems, in particular when it comes to upgrading the grid . Its expansion must be based on the demand forecasts from the ramp-up of the vehicles.”
Federal funding programmes
Published on 2 August 2021, the technology-neutral guideline on funding light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles with alternative, climate-protecting drives and the associated refuelling and charging infrastructure was an important stimulus for the changeover to zero-emission electrified drives in road freight transport. The decision process on the first funding call has been completed. 214 applications for commercial vehicles with climate-friendly drives, 92 applications for 273 charging infrastructure locations with a total of 1,386 charging points and 22 applications for feasibility studies have been approved. In the second funding call, around 1,670 applications for commercial vehicles and around 1,090 applications for charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure were submitted. That equates to funding in the amount of approx. 1.4 billion euros. The applications are currently being assessed.
The planning and development of charging infrastructure for electric commercial vehicles is in addition, a priority in the current Charging Infrastructure Master Plan II, introduced on 19 October 2022. The development of an initial network of public charging infrastructure for e-trucks was agreed as one of the measures of the master plan.
Overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles
Parallel to the conference, the BMDV presented a progress report on the overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles. The now available progress report provides an overview of BMDV activities and current developments since the publishing of the overall concept as well as an outlook on future tasks. Detailed information on the implementation of the overall concept can be found at www.klimafreundliche-nutzfahrzeuge.de.
Image: (f.l.t.r.) Dirk Engelhardt (BGL e.V.), Dr. Volker Wissing (Federal Minister for Digital and Transport), Hildegard Müller (VDA e.V.), Andrees Gentzsch (BDEW e.V.), Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff (NOW GmbH)
Image source: Franz Josef