Milence sets up truck charging hubs at one of Europe’s largest ports

Milence, the mega charging joint venture by Daimler Truck, Volvo Group and Traton, has been commissioned by the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to build two heavy-duty charging hubs. By spring, the port expects to offer 30 truck charging points and is already considering an expansion.

Image: Milence

In the first phase now underway, Milence is building charging stations at the Goordijk and Ketenis truck parks. The two hubs in the Antwerp port are due to open in May 2024, then offering 15 CCS chargers with an output of up to 400 kW each.

The charging options will be further increased, but the port has yet to detail targets for this second expansion. The Port of Antwerp-Bruge states that Milence “plans a swift transition to Megawatt Charging System (MCS) technology as soon as it becomes available”.

And this might be soon. Milence is currently showing a prototype MCS charging system at the Solutrans show in Lyon, France. Developed with Hitachi Energy, the MCS prototype will undergo testing in the coming months for a targeted charging capacity of 1,000 A. This will charge a heavy-duty truck in 30 to 40 minutes with enough power for 500 kilometres, in line with the mandatory driving breaks. Milence technology uses ISO 15118-20 communication protocols.

The company is also preparing to open its first truck charging hub at the end of November 2023 in the Dutch town of Venlo, near the German border.

The hub will be a starting point for Milence’s plan to set up a European fast-charging network for heavy commercial vehicles such as long-haul trucks and coaches on behalf of its shareholders. The goal is to install 1,700 such charging points within five years by the end of 2027.

The Port of Antwerp-Bruge also refers to these plans in today’s statement. It describes Milence’s network, focusing on creating green corridors for road transport connecting key logistics hubs, major ports and airports. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is the second largest seaport in Europe after Rotterdam and self-describes as “a true world port,” with more than 300 maritime liner services and 800 destinations.

As for the new truck charging hubs, the port considers driver comfort and safety “a major concern” and says its latest parking areas are fenced, illuminated and equipped with camera surveillance, Wi-Fi and sanitary facilities. Snacks and drinks are available from vending machines.

The Milence charging hubs will also benefit from renewable energy the port produces locally with solar panels and wind turbines.

Anja van Niersen, CEO at Milence, said the agreement “marks the beginning of a new era in sustainable transport. The development of a 30-bay charging hub for heavy-duty vehicles demonstrates our strong belief that electrification is the clear solution for heavy-duty road transport and our bold commitment to the future of green logistics and clean energy.”

Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, called the truck parks “an essential link in electric truck transport”. She also considers the port “the economic engine of Flanders” and added, “The more sustainable, and in this case, the more electric, this engine runs, the better!”



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