A busy corridor for semi-trucks along Interstate 10 in the Southwest U.S. will be outfitted with electric chargers built especially for vehicles of this size. It’s believed to be the first such endeavor at this scale, the company behind the installation, TeraWatt Infrastructure, said Thursday.
Convincing more transportation companies to switch to ditch diesel RB00, +1.33% hinges on providing high-powered charging centers for heavy-duty and medium-duty electric trucks that can assure cargo schedules are met. The chargers will be available from the busy Port of Long Beach, just outside Los Angeles, to the El Paso, Texas, area.
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks may make up less than 5% of vehicles on the road, but they account for about 29% of highway emissions, the Department of Energy says. Proponents for reducing, then eliminating gas vehicles, argue that expanding fleet electrification beyond local routes is essential to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Those emissions are responsible for global warming — the phenomenon that has raised ocean levels, brought drought and dangerous heat and intensified naturally occurring storms.
“Long-haul trucking electrification represents a significant opportunity to reduce transportation sector emissions, but hinges on the rapid scale-up of specialized charging infrastructure,” said TeraWatt CEO Neha Palmer.
The I-10 corridor will consist of multiple facilities, called TeraWatt Charging Centers, that will be spread across California, Arizona and New Mexico. The chargers will include dozens of direct current (DC) fast chargers, pull-through charging stalls and on-site driver amenities so that drivers can eat, rest or shower while charging. The facilities themselves will also operate with emissions in mind, using zero-carbon electricity, via solar panels ICLN, +0.70% and other energy-efficiency efforts.
Sites are located less than one mile from the nearest highway exit for ease of access, and they range in size between four to 100 acres, depending on location.
TeraWatt said that while the intent is to cut pollution in the long-haul sector, local electric trucking operations can also pull in for a charge.
The charging centers are located approximately 150 miles apart to support the mileage range of commercially available electric trucks, Palmer said.
Europe-based Daimler Truck DTG, -2.48% and Volvo VOLV.B, -3.46% are key makers in the electric heavy-duty truck space.
Meanwhile, Tesla Inc. TSLA, -3.95% has started production of its long-awaited all-electric semi-truck and will make its first deliveries to PepsiCo PEP, -0.42%Inc. in December, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said earlier this month.
And, Orange EV, a 10-year-old company, said earlier this year it has deployed over 370 trucks to some 100 fleet customers in 24 states. According to a recent report from EV industry-tracker CALSTART, Orange has the most electric trucks in service of any currently active manufacturer.
A CALSTART report from earlier this year said there were around 1,215 medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission trucks on U.S. roads, and 140,000 more on order. Some 145 models are currently available for purchase from at least 30 manufacturers.