Volvo plans electric truck charging corridor in California

Live Brief:

  • Volvo Trucks will build a charging corridor in California for medium and heavy-duty electric trucks, with publicly accessible stations across the state, the company announced earlier this month.
  • Construction for the project will begin this year, with five new stations online by the end of 2023, the company said in a news release.
  • With the establishment of the corridor, Volvo hopes to urge longer electric trucking routes. The capability to charge mid-route will open the door to a “truly electrified freight future,” said Peter Voorhoevepresident of Volvo Trucks North America.

Live Insight:

The corridor’s charging spots will stretch between Dixon, California north of San Francisco and La Mirada in Los Angeles County.

The project will deploy chargers at several existing Volvo Trucks’ dealership locations in central and northern California, including TEC Equipment Oakland, TEC Equipment Dixon, Western Truck Center in Stockton, and Affinity Truck Centers in Fresno and Bakersfield. It will also offer service as an extension to existing chargers at the TEC Fontana and TEC La Mirada locations in the south.

Volvo Trucks will offer public electric truck charging stations throughout California, with locations in Dixon, Oakland, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, Fontana and La Mirada.

Courtesy of Volvo Trucks

Volvo is hoping the corridor will help more small carriers electrify their fleets without needing to invest in charging infrastructure.

California has been a leader in the push for truck electrification, passing legislation in 2020 mandating manufacturers sell only zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks beginning in 2040. To assist in building the infrastructure needed to power those trucks, the state launched a funding program for truck charging solutions. Volvo was granted $2 million from the fund for the corridor project, the company said in a statement.

Volvo is taking on the task of building charging infrastructure across the globe — days before announcing the California project, the company, in a joint venture with Daimler Truck and the TRATON Group, committed to building at least 1,700 charging points on and close to highways across Europe.

And Volvo is not alone in unveiling new charging initiatives this month. GM and Pilot will partner to build 2,000 EVgo eXtend-powered charging stations at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers, the company announced the same day as the Volvo news.

The GM-backed stations will be placed at roughly 50-mile intervals across the US, part of the automaker’s $750 million investment in EV infrastructure charging. The new initiative does not specify if any of the stations will be specific for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Even with these newer privately backed initiatives, experts say creating the infrastructure to support 100% electric medium-and heavy-duty truck sales by 2040 is a heavy lift. Doing so could take between $100 billion and $166 billion in charging infrastructure investments, as well as the construction of 470,000 to 560,000 depot-charging ports built for electric fleets, according to an analysis published last year by Atlas Public Policy.

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