Report • 21.02.2024

Logistics: rethinking charging and resting?

How the Milence joint venture aims to improve resting, loading and transportation in freight traffic

CO2 emissions are a major issue in all areas of our lives. Did you know that around a quarter of emissions on the roads of the European Union are caused by commercial vehicles - mainly transport trucks?

Generated graphic showing a possible rest area with charging station....
Source: Proof of the sum

One way to minimize this would be to switch to electric freight transport. "A year ago, when Milence was announced, we committed to building the largest charging network for electric trucks in Europe," explains Anja van Niersen, CEO of Milence.

And the idea is taking shape. The joint venture between the automotive giants Daimler Trucks, Traton Group and Volvo Group aims to create 1,700 charging points for heavy goods vehicles across Europe over the next four years.

Rendered image of the surroundings of such a charging station/rest area....
Source: Proof of the sum

Logistics of the future?

The company, which was founded in 2022, and the architects from Proof the Sum illustrated what this could look like back in the fall of 2023:

In turning circles, truck drivers are guided to the parking spaces in a single direction. These are generously dimensioned and covered. The arched and roof structures made of laminated wood offer protection for vehicles and charging stations. The drivers have also been thought of, as there is a lounge, vending machines with fresh meals, washrooms and, in some cases, fitness areas in the pavilions next door.

Three trucks at a charging station in Venlo
Source: Milence

The entire construction is based on bio-based materials - in keeping with the principle of sustainability. In addition, large parts of the stations are to remain removable and modular so that the parking stations can be adapted to new conditions or the needs of the logistics sector. The modular approach also makes the concept easily scalable. In the future, charging points of different sizes could be created at different stations.

Anja van Niersen smiles into the camera, 5 stationary trucks can be seen in the...
Anja van Niersen, CEO von Milence
Source: Milence

First loading hub: Veno as a strategic point

In December 2023, work began on the actual implementation and the first loading hub with four loading bays was opened in Venlo in the Netherlands. The second phase of completion is currently underway: the described arch and roof structures are being installed. A further four charging stations are also going into operation. The new charging hub is equipped with two powerful Combined Charging System (CCS) chargers that provide up to 400 kW of charging power. Milence is planning a rapid transition to Megawatt Charging System (MCS) technology as soon as it becomes available.

Why did the joint venture choose Venlo as its first location? "At the heart of Milence's mission is a commitment to a fossil fuel-free future in road transportation. To achieve this, Milence is developing its network with a focus on creating green corridors for road transport that connect major logistics centers," according to officials. "Venlo is strategically located for international trade, making it an ideal location for the launch of Europe's first major public charging network [...]."

Both in Venlo and at future locations, electric trucks of all brands will be able to make stops. To ensure this, Milence is currently signing agreements with several major e-mobility service providers (eMSPs) in Europe. Various payment solutions will also be available, according to the company. "The opening in Venlo marks an important moment in our journey to accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation," says Anja van Niersen, CEO of Milence.  What would the idea be without an app? That's probably what the people at Milence thought and they're giving customers one. Customers can easily find a charger, monitor the charging status and even pay. A booking system is currently still under development.

Costs: The introductory direct tariff is set at EUR 0.4 (EUR 0.399) per kWh excluding VAT and transaction costs. Further information can be found in the app or on the company's official channels. 

The hub in Venlo is the first to open in the Benelux region. The recently announced locations in Antwerp and Ghent will follow in 2024 and 2025. Milence has already secured several locations along the central European transport corridors, which are scheduled to open in the course of 2024.

Katja Laska

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