WattEV granted $40.5m for truck charging


WattEV, which provides zero-emission trucks-as-a-service in the USA, has been awarded two separate grants totalling $40.5 million for electric truck charging depots along the Interstate 5 highway, which runs along the country’s West Coast.

The grants should allow the company to further expand its growing network of electric truck stops into Northern California and Oregon. The infrastructure grants follow the recent opening of an electric truck charging depot in the Port of Long Beach, California. Now, the company will build one solar-powered truck charging depot across Interstate 5 from the airfreight hub adjacent to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) and another for a grid-connected charging depot along Interstate 5 in Salem, Ore.

The solar-powered depot is financed with a $34 million federal grant from  California Transportation Commission to build and operate what the trucking company says will become the nation’s largest electric charging depot. The charging park will cover 100 acres immediately south of Sacramento International Airport (SMF) on Interstate 5. Another $6.5 million will flow to WattEV from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to build the 6-acre EV charging depot in Salem, Ore, on a grid-connected site in cooperation with Portland General Electric.

Initially, the SMF depot will serve as a charging hub for local and regional distribution centres. WattEV says the solar-powered electric truck charging park will later serve as a depot serving the north-south freight corridor stretching from its recently opened charging depot in the Port of Long Beach and connecting to Oregon and Washington state.

The solar-powered SMF depot will be equipped with 90 high-power CCS-1 cords for medium- and heavy-duty commercial electric vehicles, 30 DC fast chargers for passenger vehicles, and 18-megawatt cords for pass-through charging of HD trucks using the upcoming Megawatt Charging Standard (MCS) that was presented in Oslo just over a year go. In the meantime, the charging standard is being implemented long electric truck corridors internationally.

The grant for the SMF project comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Trade Corridor Enhancement Program,” which distributes funding through state transportation agencies. WattEV co-founder and CEO Salim Youssefzadeh explained, “We’re building out the West Coast corridor while also reaching eastward along the I-10 toward Arizona and Texas and, eventually, to the East Coast,” Youssefzadeh said. “To expand the WattEV network, we’ll match our grants with private capital to fund this massive infrastructure buildout.”

Also today, we reported that Tesla has applied for 97 million US dollars in subsidies in the USA to build charging infrastructure for its electric Semi trucks from Texas to California. Eighteen of Tesla’s Semi electric trucks are now on the roads in California with PepsiCo. WattEV already has numerous electric trucks in operation in California, from Volvo Trucks and Nikola.


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