CEC pays $13 million to EPRI, CALSTART to install zero-emission truck charging along California freight corridors

Published on January 26, 2022 by Chris Galford

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As part of a multi-phase project to install the first zero-emission freight charging corridor network in the United States for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $13 million last week to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and CALSTART.

“Electrifying transportation is central to the clean energy transition, and this project has tremendous value in the adoption of electric, zero-emission trucks along one of the heaviest traveled corridors in Southern California,” EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor said. “Proven successful, high-power charging could be replicated throughout the country, accelerating the clean energy economy.”

The two organizations will collaborate on development for the Research Hub for Electric Technologies in Truck Applications (RHETTA), focused on developing pollution-impacted, low-income, and tribal communities along the way. The project will roll out in phases, and this month initiates the first. Its end goal is the development of high-power chargers capable of helping vehicles along another 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes, for less than $500 per kW.

Set to run through 2025, this phase includes two pilot sites near southern California’s ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and the Inland Empire, each equipped with two charging units. Each pilot site will have two charging units that will serve as demonstrations sites to test and validate their use and impact. The high-power charging support extending the range of electric trucks and increase their market penetration.

“CALSTART is committed to a community-first stakeholder engagement approach to advance high-power charging at publicly accessible sites in Southern California,” Jasna Tomic, vice president at CALSTART, said. “With equity as a critical lens to our technical planning, CALSTART looks forward to collaborating with the Energy Commission, industry, and communities to deploy the nation’s first, zero-emission freight corridor.”

As part of the project, CALSTART and EPRI will also create an online freight heatmap to detail freight hubs, travel patterns on the corridors, truck stops, and locations for truck charging. Additionally, they will begin to plot a statewide charging corridor network, developing a workforce strategy and templates for these corridors along the way.