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Today’s Pickup: Utilities to study electric charging infrastructure needs of I-5

 Three states and several utilities will study the needs of electric trucks along the I-5 corridor to make long-haul electric trucks like the Freightliner eCascadia a reality.
Three states and several utilities will study the needs of electric trucks along the I-5 corridor to make long-haul electric trucks like the Freightliner eCascadia a reality.

Good day,

Electric utilities in three West Coast states will jointly explore the viability of installing electric charging infrastructure along the I-5 corridor. Nine electric providers in California, Oregon and Washington will join with two agencies representing an additional two dozen municipal utilities to sponsor the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, a study to determine how best to ensure that Interstate 5 is equipped with sufficient charging to support electric long-haul trucks.

“Many of the utilities represented in this partnership have programs to support charging electric vehicles that travel within our own territories, but for extended shipping and long-haul trucks, we need solutions that we can apply across utility territories,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison, one of the utilities sponsoring the study.

The study will explore how best to provide EV charging on I-5 and its connecting routes for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks, the groups said, as well as what role electricity providers can play in electrifying the corridor. Key locations for electric truck charging infrastructure will also be identified and prioritized.

“Big challenges require bold and collaborative solutions, and climate change is such a challenge,” said Emeka Anyanwu, Energy Innovation & Resources officer for Seattle City Light, another study sponsor. “So it is exciting to see such a wide range of experience and diversity of thinking from our various utilities being brought to bear to tackle such a critical issue.”

Other initiative sponsors are Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Northern California Power Agency, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Public Power Authority.

“Well-planned electric charging infrastructure along I-5 is important to our region,” said Scott Bolton, senior vice president of External Affairs for Pacific Power. “The I-5 corridor is the economic backbone for transporting essential goods and services to our Oregon, Washington and California customers. We see investments in transportation electrification and electric charging infrastructure as a great way to support the economic vitality and environmental quality of communities along the corridor.”

The study is expected to be concluded by year’s end, with implementation of recommendations expected to begin as soon as next year.

Did you know?

FreightWaves is now including weekly intermodal spot rates and daily maritime container shipping spot rates in its SONAR data platform. Intermodal is strongly correlated with the general freight market as a large percentage of import freight moves in containers during at least part of its journey.

Quotable:

“We are coming together on a regional level and taking the lead, working across state, county and city lines to take a significant step to address air pollution and climate change. We’re preparing for a future in which quiet, all-electric big rigs haul freight up and down I-5 and its connected major arteries without releasing pollution or carbon into the air.”

– Dave Robertson, vice president of Public Policy at Portland General Electric, on his utility working with several others on an I-5 electrification study for heavy trucks.

In other news:

Is Cummins nearing the end of its run?

An opinion columnist for Motley Fool debates the viability of engine maker Cummins going forward.  (Motley Fool)

Flex fuels the future for transportation

Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions regulations will drive more use of flex fuels and hybrid electrification in trucking, a new report said. (Design News)

Consultant warns of Chinese influencing in U.S. rail manufacturing

A consultant is warning that China’s inroads in railcar manufacturing could lead to a reduction of U.S.-made products and as many as 64,000 jobs. (The Hill)

EU says CO2 targets for trucks is good to go

The EU Parliament has approved the intermediate reduction target of 15% for trucks by 2025, keepin git in line with the draft previously agreed to. (electrive.com)

West Coast states to study truck charging along I-5 corridor

California, Oregon and Washington will jointly study electric charging infrastructure for trucks along the I-5 corridor. (Inside EVs)

Final Thoughts

News that utilities in three states will jointly study electric vehicle charging infrastructure along I-5 on the West Coast is welcome news. The route is important to freight movement, of course, but by working together, the states and their utilities could potentially develop a cohesive network of charging infrastructure that benefits trucks, rather than each utility developing its own proprietary way. It is this approach, rather than the piecemeal strategy so often used, that trucking needs to see more of when it comes to wide-scale projects such as electrification, drone delivery, and even harmonization of rules such as vehicle inspections.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.
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