Tesla has officially joined forces with other EV companies and environmental groups, in an effort to secure federal funding of EV charging infrastructure for electric trucks. Specifically, they are asking the government to set aside 10 per cent of the US$7.5 billion infrastructure bill dedicated to EV charging infrastructure, specifically for medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV).
“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,” they wrote in a letter sent to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
To support their argument, the group noted that although MHDV’s only account for 10 per cent of the US vehicle fleet, they account for a significant portion of the sector’s nitrogen oxide pollution (45 per cent), fine particulate matter pollution (57 per cent), and global warming emissions (28 per cent). With these figures in mind, the case for an increasingly electrified commercial transit sector seems undeniable.
The letter also highlighted the fact that, although many businesses now consider commercial electric trucks to be financially competitive and feasible, access to charging infrastructure remains scarce. “Fortunately, electifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) is already ‘economical in many cases, with the list of cost-effective use cases growing by the day,” the letter reads. “Access to charging, on the other hand, remains a significant barrier to adoption.”
The letter settles on a simple but impactful call to action — if America’s MHDV fleet is to go electric, the charging infrastructure built under the BIL [bipartisan infrastructure law] must account for its unique needs by allocating 10 per cent of the funding towards charging stations for electric trucks. “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 granted, this funding will help finance the deployment of a newly developed >1 MW charging standard for electric trucks.