German logistic firms receive funding for 28 heavy electric trucks


German logistics service providers Contargo and Rhenus Trucking have received funding notifications from the Federal Ministry of Transport for 28 battery-electric 44-ton trucks and the associated charging infrastructure. They intend to place the orders in the coming months.

Rhenus Trucking says it will purchase vehicles immediately from various manufacturers to gradually make them available to its customer and sister company Contargo as a service provider. The announcement does not specify manufacturers or models.

What is clearer are the locations for the planned deployments: Contargo will use the battery-powered tractor units at its sites in Döhlau/Hof, Duisburg, Emmelsum, Emmerich, Frankfurt-Höchst, Frankfurt-Ost, Gustavsburg, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Neuss, Weil am Rhein and Wörth am Rhein.

“We see it as our responsibility to actively drive forward the transport revolution with our customers,” says Jürgen Albersmann, Managing Director of Contargo. “That’s why we maintain close cooperation with the fleet management experts at Rhenus Trucking, who are doing an excellent job driving our momentum for implementing electromobility within the Rhenus Group.” Sascha Hähnke, Managing Director of Rhenus Trucking, added: “For Rhenus, building a battery-powered truck fleet is a statement for this technology, which is an excellent alternative to combustion vehicles at the moment.”

According to Hähnke’s co-managing director Michael Starke, “intermodal transport with a range of up to 250 kilometres a day between terminal and customer is the ideal use case for these vehicles.” He adds that the vehicles were “in no way inferior to conventional semitrailer trucks in terms of performance and payload.”

For background – the funding call was published in August 2021 by the then CSU-led Federal Ministry of Transport as the KsNI (“Climate-friendly Commercial Vehicles and Infrastructure”) program. Specifically, new purchases of “climate-friendly” commercial vehicles of classes N1, N2 and N3 and the conversion to alternative drives for vehicles of classes N2 and N3 were to be subsidized with up to 80 per cent of the additional investment costs compared to a diesel vehicle. The maximum funding rate for these vehicles’ refuelling and charging infrastructure was 80 per cent. Feasibility studies are funded at 50 per cent.

Rhenus Trucking and Contargo do not state the subsidy amount in the announcement. They do write the support programme following KsNI guidelines. Funding covers not only 28 heavy semitrailer tractor units but also the charging infrastructure such as transformers, battery storage, energy management systems and all the work necessary to put these in place.

The second funding call from the KsNI program will be published on 15 June in Germany.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.

contargo.net, pressebox.de (quotes in German)


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