Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks NA are relying on Kansas-based engineering, procurement and construction firm Black & Veatch to bring to fruition their plan for a public charging station designed specifically for electric commercial trucks.
B&V is handling EPC duties on the project known as Electric Island, a partnership between the Portland, Ore. Municipal utility and Daimler. Electric Island would offer high-power charging infrastructure for medium and heavy-duty electric trucks with large batteries capable of moving up to 80,000 pounds at highway speeds.
The project is planned to open this spring near Daimler’s North American headquarters in Portland. It will feature nine charging stations and serve as a testing and innovation location with plans for expansion, on-site energy storage and solar power generation capacity.
“`Electric Island’ is a perfect example of what the future looks like here today,” said Paul Stith, Black & Veatch’s director of global transportation initiatives. “It’s exciting to participate in this collaborative project driving innovation between a private enterprise and the local utility, all on a mission to unlock the potential of zero-carbon transportation options.
“Given that transportation is an oversized contributor to pollution and climate-warming emissions, it’s important to ensure charging infrastructure keeps pace with commercial fleet adoption,” Stith added. “Lessons learned at Electric Island will help transform thinking for the entire industry.”
Positive feedback from zero-emission, heavy-duty test and validation fleets is building confidence and generating demand for vehicles. In the North American market alone, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, zero-emissions freight vehicle availability over the next year is expected to increase from more than 70 models from two dozen manufacturers to at least 85 models from over 30 companies.
In 2019, nine U.S. West Coast utilities, including Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and others, launched together a study on the feasibility of an Interstate EV infrastructure called the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative. The project is aimed at developing charging stations for heavy duty transport from southern California to northwest Washington.