Tesla wants to build an electric truck corridor through the USA

  • Leaked plans show Tesla wants to build charging stations for electric trucks along a 1,500 mile-plus route from California to Texas.
  • The charging stations will be designed for the company’s electric semi truck and its electric competitors.
  • The concept could be just what’s needed to decarbonise the USA’s trucking industry.

Plans for an electric truck route

According to leaked emails seen by Bloomberg News, Tesla has a plan to build charging stations along a route through California, Arizona, and Texas. The company has reached out to the US government to help with funding, asking for a sum of $97m.

Starting in Fremont, California, the route would have nine separate charging stations, as trucks pass their way beside industry-rich cities such as Los Angeles and Phoenix, before ending in Laredo, Texas – right on the border with Mexico, a 1,500 mile-plus route.

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Reportedly, each station will not only contain chargers designed for its Tesla Semi, yet to be fully released, but also have chargers compatible with other brands of future electric trucks. Tesla says its Semi will be able to do 500 miles on a charge, while 70% of the truck’s range can be added in 30 minutes on one of its Semi chargers.

Therefore, a setup like this could alleviate the concerns some have around the suitability of electric power for heavy haulage vehicles. Additionally, haulage companies are less likely to purchase electric trucks like Tesla’s until there is proven infrastructure in place. Tesla’s Semi truck has still not yet officially come to market, although samples of the truck have been given for companies to try out – Pepsi in the USA is piloting 21 Semis.

Why make trucks electric?

If this planned scheme comes to fruition, and turns out to be a success, it could be replicated across other parts of the states and across the world. In the USA, around 21% of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions come from trucking, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, the decarbonisation of the trucking industry will be key to the country reaching its 2050 net zero emissions target.

Several states in the USA plan to ban the sale of ICE-powered cars by 2035, but the country has no dates in place to ban the sale of fossil-fuel powered heavy haulage vehicles. However, the European Union and the UK both plan to ban the sale of new ones around 2040, which is where schemes such as the one touted by Tesla here could be essential for meeting that deadline.

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