Updated rules will enable deployment of public heavy-duty EV charging stations in California

For the past two years, Volvo Trucks has been collaborating with the South Coast Air Quality Management District  and 13 other organizations on the Volvo LIGHTS project, which aims to develop a blueprint to introduce battery-electric Class 8 trucks and equipment into the market at scale.

Now Volvo Trucks, along with project partners CALSTART, Trillium and Greenlots, has helped facilitate the modification of California utility rules to allow private entities to sell electricity at publicly accessible charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty EVs.

Volvo LIGHTS partner and Volvo Trucks North America dealership TEC Equipment offers 150 kW fast chargers at their Fontana, California location so that fleet customers can charge their Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks.

Prior to this modification, California utilities were guided by a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision that exempted light-duty vehicle charging station providers from being regulated as a utility, but did not explicitly exempt medium- and heavy-duty charging station providers. In July, the Volvo LIGHTS partners filed a motion that sought to clarify the CPUC’s position. The CPUC ruled to extend the exemption, and directed California utilities to allow the resale of electricity as a motor fuel for EVs.

“CALSTART brought together a group of industry stakeholders to modify CPUC rules so that California can meet our ambitious goals and attract the needed infrastructure investments for medium-and heavy-duty electrification,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive VP of CALSTART. “For California to achieve its ambitious zero-emission truck and bus deployment targets, the state will need to rapidly increase charging infrastructure, and heavy-duty trucks will need both innovative depot and public charging stations.” 

Under the modified regulation, charging provider Trillium can move forward with its plans to build a publicly accessible fast-charging station for heavy-duty trucks near Anaheim, California. “Building out public access charging along well-traveled corridors will enable fleet operators to pilot battery-powered trucks without having to commit significant upfront resources to construct and install charging infrastructure,” said Trillium’s Kim Okafor.

The electric truck chargers deployed through the Volvo LIGHTS project feature Greenlots’ cloud software, which integrates with the Volvo VNR Electric’s telematics to balance the needs of the vehicle, facility and utility grid. “Greenlots applauds the CPUC for its decision to exempt public medium- and heavy-duty EV charging stations from unnecessary regulation,” said Greenlots VP Tom Ashley. “This is a needed step as we collectively work to expand the required infrastructure for large-scale medium- and heavy-duty electrification.”

Source: Volvo Trucks

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