The Volvo Group and Pilot Company signed a letter of intent to develop a national, public charging network to support the scaling of Class 8 battery-electric trucks.
To accelerate development of the charging network, Pilot intends to install high-performance charging infrastructure at selected existing network of Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S. The network will be open to all heavy-duty vehicle brands, and will be able to support medium-duty truck charging as well.
The partnership will address charging infrastructure accessibility and roadblocks, including long project lead times and high installation costs, that can otherwise delay scaled deployment of battery-electric vehicles, Volvo officials said in a press release.
“Our VNR Electric customers, as well as other fleets looking to adopt battery-electric trucks, will have peace of mind that they can access a reliable and robust, publicly accessible charging network strategically located along major transportation corridors, enabling them to extend their operating radius and decarbonize even more of their routes,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America.
Volvo will help identify which of the existing Pilot and Flying J travel centers should be prioritized for the charging infrastructure based on current and anticipated battery-electric truck deployment volume, customers charging needs and patterns, and the availability of federal and state funding to support capital costs.
To date, early adopters of Volvo VNR Electric and Mack LR Electric trucks have utilized depot charging to support daily routes, where trucks return to one location to charge. The introduction of public charging infrastructure that can accommodate medium- and heavy-duty fleets goes hand-in-hand with recent bipartisan support of the goal to increase BEV charging capabilities and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry, Volvo officials said.
Pilot operates a network of more than 750 travel centers throughout North America, covering 44 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces.