West Coast utilities map out a possible electric truck charging network along I-5

A large group of electric utilities in the three West Coast states have announced the results of a study that examined the possibility of building charging infrastructure to facilitate freight transportation along the Pacific Coast’s main highway corridor.

The West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative study recommends adding charging infrastructure for freight haulers and delivery trucks at 50-mile intervals along Interstate 5 and adjoining highways.

The study’s final report proposes a phased approach for electrifying the I-5 corridor. The first phase, to be completed by 2025, calls for 27 charging sites at 50-mile intervals along I-5 for medium-duty EVs such as delivery vans. By 2030, 14 of the 27 sites would be expanded to add charging for electric Class 8 trucks.

Of the 27 proposed sites, 16 are in California, 5 are in Oregon and 6 are in Washington. An additional 41 sites on other highways that connect to I-5 are also proposed.

The report recommends expanding state, federal and private programs that provide funding for electrification. Several California utilities already have programs aimed at supporting the adoption of electric trucks, but more support will be needed to meet state climate goals.

The report also found that most utilities in the three states have enough capacity in urban areas along I-5 to support interconnections with the medium-duty charging sites. In rural areas, however, the power capacity to support heavy-duty vehicles is lacking.

Fleet operators surveyed as part of the study said that access to public charging would accelerate their deployment of electric trucks.

“Electrifying transportation is a key component to reaching our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040,” said Bill Boyce, Manager of Electric Transportation for Sacramento-based SMUD, one of the utilities that commissioned the report. “As a transportation hub, reducing diesel emissions in long-haul transportation will further our goals of clean air and sustainable communities in our region and along the entire West Coast.”

Source: SMUD