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Tesla and others lobby for federal funding of charging infrastructure for electric trucks

Tesla, along with other EV companies and environmental groups, is lobbying for some of the federal funding going to EV charging infrastructure to be used to deploy charging stations for electric trucks.

Last year, the US legislature approved a new infrastructure bill that included $7.5 billion in funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The officials are still in process of figuring out how to distribute this funding most efficiently.

Now several EV companies, including Tesla, and environmental groups, are lobbying the government to set aside 10% of $7.5 billion for charging infrastructure specifically for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV).

They wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week (via The Verge):

“Most public EV charging infrastructure has been designed and built with passenger vehicles in mind. The size and location of spaces reflect an interest in servicing the. driving public, not larger commercial vehicles.”

The group argues that while heavy-duty vehicles account for only 10% of the US vehicle fleet, they account for “45% of the transportation sector’s nitrogen oxide pollution, 57% of fine particulate: matter pollution, and 28% of its global warming emissions.”

In the letter, they also highlight how commercial electric trucks are often already financially competitive, but access to charging infrastructure is still a major obstacle to adoption.

They are asking for 10% of the funding in the infrastructure bill goes to charging for MHDVs:

“If America’s MHDV fleet is to go electric, the charging infrastructure built under the BIL will need to take its unique needs into account. As the Biden Administration drafts guidelines, standards and requirements for EV infrastructure paid for by the BIL, we ask that they encourage states to develop charging infrastructure designed to service MHDVs. More specifically, we ask that at least ten percent of the funding included in the BIL’s Section 11401 Grants for Fueling and Infrastructure Program be spent on charging infrastructure designed to service MHDV — both along designated alternative fueling corridors and within communities.”

If the request is successful, it would help finance the deployment of a newly developed >1 MW charging standard for electric trucks.

In 2019, we reported that Tesla submitted their own >1 MW high-power charging standard for electric trucks within CharIN, an industry association behind the CCS standard.

CharIN is working on High Power Charging for Commercial Vehicles (HPCCV) with its members in order to create a standard for interoperability of vehicle charging stations for electric trucks.

Tesla was one of five companies that submitted designs, along with Electrify America, ABB, paXos, and Staubli, to develop the standards for high power charging.

In 2020, Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s head of heavy trucking at the time, said that the automaker was working with partners to develop the Megacharger, which is the fast-charging solution for the Tesla Semi electric truck.


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