Stage with the lettering "Future Day 2024" on which the speakers and a presenter sit, in front of the audience.

Neckarsulm, 5. June 2024

Focus on Electric Trucks: The Companies of Schwarz Group host “Future Day”

  • At the invitation of the companies of Schwarz Group, manufacturers, freight forwarders and industry experts met up to discuss the decarbonization of transport logistics.
  • On an area of more than 10,000 square meters featuring a test track and an electric vehicle charging park, exhibitors showcased state-of-the-art solutions and innovations in electric truck development.

Electric fever broke out in Möckmühl: On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, the companies of Schwarz Group hosted the first “Future Day” event on the premises of the Kaufland logistics center in Möckmühl. This trade fair, which is the first of its kind in Germany, addressed the following question: How can the transition to electric mobility in the goods transport sector succeed? The exhibition and accompanying congress offered the 800 guests exclusive insights into the world of e-mobility. A total of nine manufacturers presented their electric trucks and innovations – including Daimler, Volvo, MAN, Krone as well as Schmitz Cargobull. On an exhibition area spanning 10,000 square meters and with a purpose-built test track, the electric truck models could be test driven and charged at Kaufland’s own fast charging stations.

“Future Day” connects the industry and helps to break down reservations

With “Future Day”, the companies of Schwarz Group are aiming to intensify the dialog within the logistics industry and support the electrification of the transport of goods. The jointly developed climate strategy features a plan to reduce the operational emissions of the retail group by 55 percent by 2030 compared to the emissions in 2019. However, the majority of carbon emissions – around 98 percent – come from the upstream and downstream value chains. “That is why we are looking for close collaboration with our suppliers in order to promote sustainable solutions”, as Florian Schütze, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Schwarz Unternehmenskommunikation, explained in his keynote. “We are a reliable partner for freight forwarders and transport service providers and work to-gether with them to shape the transition to electric mobility.“

As part of the “Future Day” stage program, representatives of the Kaufland and Lidl retail divisions and the PreZero environmental division showcased where and how their companies have already successfully implemented electric mobility solutions in heavy goods transport.

Kaufland’s electrifying transport pilot project in Möckmühl

As the host of the event, Kaufland wants to work together with its partners to increase the use of electric trucks for deliveries to its stores. In order to achieve this goal, the food retailer has not only been testing the use of eight electric trucks since December 2023, but it also operates its own electric charging park in Möckmühl with eight charging stations. Ten stores in the Ludwigsburg area receive deliveries in electric trucks from this charging park. After six months, the results have been positive: “We have now completed more than 4,000 store tours and covered a distance of almost 200,000 kilometers. From day one, the technology and software have been very reliable. The technology has achieved a very high level of acceptance, especially among the drivers, and we have also experienced positive effects in terms of economic efficiency. Using the experience we have gathered here on site, we are currently working on a feasibility analysis for additional sites. This will serve as a basis for the further course of action involved in a rollout of this technology”, states Alexander Frohmann, Vice President of International Transport Logistics at Kaufland.

Lidl views electric powertrains from an international perspective

Daniel Sorg, Senior Manager of Logistics and Sustainability Concepts at Lidl Stiftung, and Albrecht de Glee, Head of Logistics at Lidl Netherlands, presented their international perspectives of electric trucks. Using Lidl Netherlands as an example, they demonstrated how electric transport could look for the company in the future. In Germany's neighboring country, the transition to transport using electric trucks is already in full flow. The shift to electric mobility can be accelerated by having the appropriate requirements in place, such as a well-developed charging
infrastructure and the legislation in the Netherlands. Lidl Netherlands already has ten electric trucks in use and is planning to fully electrify its vehicle fleet for store deliveries by 2030. For all other Lidl countries, the following applies: To ensure that the use of electric trucks can be successfully implemented on a large scale, the country-specific conditions must be appropriate: the expansion of the charging infrastructure, the capacity of the electricity grids, appropriate legal conditions and the economic efficiency of electric trucks.

PreZero Germany, Netherlands and Sweden use electric trucks for waste disposal

PreZero views electric powertrains as a practicable and clean solution for the disposal of waste. Maik Gronau, Vice President of PreZero Logistik in Germany, spoke about how waste management contributes to the decarbonization of the transport industry. Electric trucks will also be used in Germany soon. The company is also considering the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles. PreZero Netherlands and Sweden already use electric vehicles for waste collection. In this way, PreZero is working to combat environmental pollution through road freight transport and is reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of municipal waste disposal. Electric vehicles are currently being tested in other PreZero countries.

Panel discussion about challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to E-mobility

In addition to talks by experts from business, science and politics, a panel discussion also took place and attempted to answer the question: “When will electric fever break out in transport logistics?”. Presenter Saskia Naumann, spoke with Alexander Frohmann (Kaufland International), Dr. Lucas Miehé (ETH Zürich), Achim Lotter (NetzeBW) and Dr. Urs Maier (Agora Verkehrswende) about which role the charging infrastructure plays and what the political sphere can do or should do. The conclusion: The expansion of electric mobility in goods transport cannot be achieved overnight and is only possible if retail companies, freight forwarders, energy suppliers and policymakers work together.

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