Europe’s first charging network for electric trucks was launched in Germany by the company BP Pulse. The terminals are located at strategic points on one of the busiest freight lines in Europe. But its power is very disappointing, especially if we compare it with Tesla’s terminals.
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Major players in the oil sector such as TotalEnergies and BP are also working on alternative energy and among them, electricity is obviously one of the main areas of work.
While electricity can no longer truly be considered “alternative energy” in the world of mobility, for oil manufacturers, electricity still lags far behind. At TotalEnergies, in 2021, 7% of the energy mix of oil tankers was made up of electricity, compared to 1% in 2015.
A first road axis for electric trucks in Europe
TotalEnergies is working on the deployment of charging stations and is beginning to interconnect French highways and highways at a steady pace. For its part, the British giant BP, through its subsidiary BP Pulse, has just launched “the first freight runner” for electric trucks in Europe. Thus, six public charging stations, with 300 kW charging pointswere launched in the Rhine-Alpine road corridor in Germany.
This is a strategic area since this stretch is part of one of the busiest road freight routes in Europe. It connects the main North Sea ports in Belgium and the Netherlands with the Mediterranean port of Genoa, Italy. It also connects a road network that spans a total of 1,300 km.
In Germany, the BP distributor is called Aral and these chargers have been installed at Aral outlets in Germany between the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area, northwest of Stuttgart, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, east of Stuttgart. the Dutch border. Therefore, drivers will have access to the Aral service airs with hot meals, toilets and showers. Two other charging stations will also open over the next six months on this axis.
Insufficient charging power?
This is the first in Europe, and these stations can accommodate up to 20 electric trucks per charger per day. With 300 kW of maximum charging power, an electric truck can recover, according to BP Pulse, 200 km of range in 45 minutes of charging. This may not sound like much, especially for trucks.
Nowadays, more and more operators offer sockets over 300 kW, such as Electra or Kallista Energy, while Circontrol can even reach 400 kW. Other companies, especially Chinese, are also working on even more efficient terminals, such as Nio, which has presented a system of up to 500 kW.
At the moment, the number of electric trucks in circulation in Europe is still very limited, for obvious technical reasons, but also because of the charging infrastructure. Nonetheless, BP estimates that by 2030 there will be around 270,000 medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles on Europe’s roads, requiring up to 140,000 charging points. BP plans to install more than 100,000 chargers around the world by 2030.
Still a step up for Tesla?
Recall that in the United States recently, Tesla delivered its first Semi to its first customer, namely the agri-food firm PepsiCo. At the moment, PepsiCo is executing 36 trucks out of the hundred ordered from Tesla. It would appear that PepsiCo is “underutilizing” its trucks, for reasons that have not been disclosed.
Because although the technical characteristics of the Tesla Semi are interesting (the brand announces 800 km of autonomy with a single charge), the truth is that you have to be able to recharge the batteries quickly. And that is precisely what Tesla said during the Semi key handover ceremony at PepsiCo, where Elon Musk presented a new charging system, capable of delivering more than 1,000 kW (i.e. 1 MW) in direct current. The voltage, for its part, would be around 1,000 volts. Enough to refuel a Tesla Semi in under an hour.
Tesla should install the first Megachargers this year and offer a charging solution up to three times faster than what BP currently offers. PepsiCo has already installed chargers in its factories, as refueling a Tesla Semi takes the company 35 to 45 minutes.
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