The first 100 chargers in the nationwide commercial EV charging network

The first 100 chargers in the nationwide commercial EV charging network

Greenlane discusses the big wins and challenges ahead for its L.A. to Las Vegas EV charging corridor.

Picture it: Electric vehicle charging locations, purpose built with heavy-duty trucks in mind, stretching from sea to shining sea. It’s Greenlane’s nationwide vision for charging infrastructure in the U.S., and the joint venture between Daimler Truck North America, NextEra Energy Resources, and BlackRock took its first big step forward with the announcement of its first commercial EV charging corridor with more than 100 chargers. The charging corridor along Interstate 15 aims to accelerate the rollout of carbon-neutral freight transportation with initial charging locations in Colton, Barstow and Baker, California.

“Our network is going to be a combination of locations that are going to be greenfield builds like we’re doing at Colton, Barstow and Baker,” Patrick Macdonald-King, chief executive officer of Greenlane. “We’re also going to have locations—we’re calling them bolt-ons—where we actually attach the locations to the side of an existing facility to modernize that facility, in addition to smaller locations that we’re actually building at dealerships and convenience stores.”

Each charging site presents unique hurdles, often requiring bespoke solutions that can accommodate local power grid capacities and geographical constraints. Macdonald-King pointed out that collaboration with utility companies is essential, as each region presents distinct challenges, from wildfire risks in California to ice storms in Texas. The variability in grid capacity and the extensive requirements for connecting to power sources mean that Greenlane must navigate complex logistics to bring each site online.

Macdonald-King also noted that there’s a growing federal focus on charging specifically for commercial vehicles through initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act to create corridors for zero-emission vehicles, which had predominantly favored cars and light-duty vehicles until now. This shift is crucial for commercial fleets that require reliable and rapid charging options to maintain operational efficiency. Each Greenlane site will have wide pull-through lanes, allowing drivers to enter and exit the property quickly and easily. While waiting for vehicles to charge, drivers can access modern facilities, with restrooms and other amenities, including food and beverage options. Greenlane is targeting a spring groundbreaking on the Colton flagship site, aiming to open in late 2024. 

Despite the much talked-about charging infrastructure obstacles, Macdonald-King said there are substantial reasons for optimism. Government support and public funding are instrumental in advancing EV adoption and infrastructure development. The public and private sectors’ combined efforts can significantly reduce the time and capital required to establish a robust EV charging network. Additionally, the anticipated tipping point in cost-effectiveness between EVs and internal combustion engine vehicles around 2027 promises to further accelerate the shift toward electric commercial transportation.

Watch the video for more large-scale charging infrastructure insight from Greenlane’s Macdonald-King.

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