A new coalition aims to accelerate the charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles. - HDT graphic/PACT

A new coalition aims to accelerate the charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles.

HDT graphic/PACT

Three truck makers have launched a coalition designed to accelerate the construction of nationwide charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles in the United States.

Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America on Jan. 30 announced Powering America’s Commercial Transportation, a coalition that will use education and advocacy to speed the construction of nationwide electric-truck charging infrastructure.

The coalition will work to overcome the many barriers delaying access to medium- and heavy-duty charging infrastructure, including lobbying to change state and national policies to address those challenges.

Together, Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America represent approximately 70% of all new medium- and heavy-duty truck sales in the U.S. Each already has battery-electric vehicles in the marketplace, but access to charging infrastructure is a major bottleneck to widespread adoption.

The coalition will be based in Washington, D.C. Membership is open to all stakeholders interested in accelerating the deployment of zero-emission commercial vehicles and the needed infrastructure. That includes other OEMs, infrastructure developers, electric utilities and grid operators, and others.

Other founding members include ABB E-mobility, Burns & McDonnell, Greenlane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Prologis, and Voltera.

Medium/Heavy-Duty Charging Infrastructure Has Unique Considerations

So far in the United States, transportation electrification has largely focused on the needs of light-duty passenger vehicles.

Quickly deploying reliable and accessible ZEV infrastructure to power commercial transportation involves unique considerations involving capital investment, electrical grid upgrades, and dedicated charging equipment.

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, nearly 700,000 chargers will be needed nationwide to accommodate the 1 million Class 4-8 medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs anticipated to be deployed by 2030.

Those 700,000 chargers will consume 140,000 megawatts of electricity every day — equivalent to the monthly energy needs of more than 100 million American homes.

‘Unprecedented’ Scale Required for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EV Infrastructure

"Decarbonizing the commercial transportation sector — the fleets that keep America moving — is critical to meeting our nation’s climate goals. But the transition to zero-emission vehicles is stalling without the deployment of the needed charging infrastructure,” said John O'Leary, president and CEO of Daimler Truck North America. “Through PACT, we aim to accelerate this infrastructure buildout so that fleets can adopt ZEVs at scale and we can all benefit from impactful emissions reductions as quickly as possible."

To effectively deploy zero-emission truck fleets at scale, “commercial vehicle customers require fast, reliable, affordable, and convenient power,” said Mathias Carlbaum, president and CEO of Navistar. “To enable their success, we must work collaboratively across sectors to deliver an infrastructure that provides access to seamless electricity and meets the commercial transportation industry’s unique needs.”

Stephen Roy, chairman of Volvo Group North America and president of Mack Trucks, said “the scale of infrastructure required for medium- and heavy-duty EV adoption is unprecedented. Understanding and coordination across the different stakeholders is imperative to deploy chargers quickly and cost-effectively.

“PACT will promote best practices to streamline this complex transition while minimizing impacts on fleets, utilities, and the economy.”

While supporting the deployment of commercial ZEV infrastructure, PACT will not advocate for specific vehicle, power generation, or utility distribution technologies. PACT exists to educate stakeholders about infrastructure challenges that hamper M/HD ZEV adoption in the marketplace and work with stakeholders to find solutions for the benefit of all interested parties. The coalition also champions practical and efficient infrastructure solutions capable of supporting increasing M/HD ZEV deployments.

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