Volvo is working with Pilot to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations specifically for all-electric commercial trucks. However, Volvo and Pilot have yet to set a deadline for their joint charging network as the project is still in its early stages. But Volvo has said it is committed to helping commercial trucks seamlessly transition to electric vehicles, backing that up with the opening of a planned charging network for all brands of heavy-duty electric vehicles.
For now, several commercial electric vehicle fleets operating in the US rely on gas stations for charging. This makes large EV trucks primarily used for hauling goods over short distances rather than long hauls. For example, the Volvo VNR Electric is well suited for regional distribution as it has a range of up to 275 miles on a single charge; range still limits its capabilities, but its limitations are due to the small number of electric vehicle chargers in the US given commercial use. With electric vehicles, the situation is even worse.
Volvo and Pilot want to solve this problem by building an electric truck charging network along major trade routes in the US and Canada. Pilot and Flying J already have over 800 destinations in 44 US states and 6 Canadian provinces. The company is also working with General Motors to add electric vehicle chargers to passenger cars. Volvo will now use Pilot’s network to build its own electric vehicle infrastructure in these existing tourist destinations.
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These truck stops—just truck stops to most of us—serve travelers and truckers alike. And sometimes for someone like me who lives in Texas but hates dealing with the crowd at Buc-ee’s. Tesla charging station nodes are already commonly seen at traditional truck stops, but electric commercial trucks do not use these nodes.
Peter Voorhove, president of Volvo Trucks North America, said the truck maker wants to reassure companies that want to switch to all-electric vehicles but are hesitant to do so due to lack of chargers for future fleets. A schedule for Volvo and the Pilot electric vehicle network is under review to put EV chargers first, and both companies are already collecting information. After that, other possible problems need to be addressed, such as getting the country’s weak grid to provide enough power for electric vehicles in the first place.