Pilot, Volvo to develop charging network for electric trucks

November 15, 2022

Ryan Witkowski

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As the “zero-emission” future of the transportation industry inches closer, one truck stop giant is getting ahead of the seemingly inevitable future of electric vehicles.

On Nov. 15, Pilot Co. and Volvo group announced the signing of a letter of intent to develop a charging network for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks. According to a statement, the charging network – which will be available to all Class 8 battery-electric trucks – is intended to, “provide fleets with a reliable electromobility solution that further enables widespread adoption of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks.”

“Pilot Co. is eager to help our customers attain their sustainability goals by partnering with the Volvo Group to develop the infrastructure and systems needed to move towards a more decarbonized future,” Shameek Konar, CEO of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Co., said in a statement. “Volvo Group’s proven expertise in electric trucks combined with our nationwide travel center network and robust energy platform leverages our respective knowledge and resources to advance the nation’s charging infrastructure. We look forward to working together to develop a holistic solution for electrified fleets, further enabling the transportation industry’s energy transition.”

The push to electrify the automotive industry is an effort the White House has a keen interest in, with the Biden administration’s target of electric vehicles making up 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2030.

In order to get there, the existence of charging infrastructure will be integral to building public confidence in the conversion. Martin Weissburg, president of Mack Trucks and chairman of Volvo Group North America, said the two companies are invested in helping to achieve that goal.

“Partnerships like this one are important for Mack, our industry, and for society as a whole,” Weissburg said in a statement. “Mack and the Volvo Group are committed to being leaders in the transition to zero-emission transportation, and accelerating the availability of publicly accessible charging is crucial to achieving the decarbonized, sustainable future we’re dedicated to helping bring about.”

The plan is for the chargers to be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers that are, “ideally positioned along transportation corridors and are well-equipped to serve professional drivers.” Pilot says the locations for the chargers will be determined based on customer needs, current and anticipated battery-electric truck density, and the availability of public funding to support infrastructure costs.

“Through this strategic partnership, both companies (Pilot and Volvo) are committed to overcoming infrastructure roadblocks in support of medium- and heavy-duty truck electrification, creating an ideal opportunity for public funds from federal, state, and local agencies to accelerate the development of a high-performance charging network,” Pilot said in a statement.

The announcement is the most recent commitment by the truck stop giant to move towards an electrified future for the transportation industry. Earlier this year, the Pilot Co. announced their $1 billion ‘New Horizons’ initiative, which aims to “upgrade and prepare its locations for the future of travel.” In July, the company partnered with General Motors to develop a coast-to-coast fast charging network for electric vehicles. LL

Truckstop.com