On Thursday, a start-up announced plans to build an “electric-only” truck stop in California.
On May 6, WattEV unveiled plans to build “the nation’s first 25-megawatt, solar-powered, electric-only public truck stop to serve electric truck transport” in Bakersfield, California. “Initial output from the WattEV electric truck stop will include 4-megawatt (MW) capability, eventually growing to 25-MW feeding more than 40 charging bays,” the company said in a news release.
The company says that the 110-acre “E-truck stop” would support electric truck traffic traveling between the Central Valley and Southern California’s ports and shipping hubs and is strategically positioned near logistics fulfillment centers run by Amazon and Walmart.
The company also says that they’ve placed an order for 50 Tesla Semis as part of a “novel” Trucks as a Service (TaaS) business model to make it easier for companies to transition to electric vehicles.
“We aim to enable the addition of 12,000 heavy-duty battery electric trucks to the roads in California by the end of 2030, exceeding existing forecasts,” says WattEV CEO Salim Youssefzadeh. “If it works in California, it’ll work just about anywhere in the country.”
“Focusing on the revenue and profit potential of an electric truck, rather than the fixed and variable cost of owning a new or used diesel truck, is how we can get more drivers into more electric trucks more quickly. Waiting for the market to mature organically – at the rate it’s currently going – could take more than a decade. Our aim is to fast-track the transition to electric truck transport by doing things a little differently,” adds Youssefzadeh.
WattEV says that they’ve partnered with multiple other groups in support of the E-truck stop, including the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Greenlots, Power Electronics, the Central California Asthma Collaborative, heavy-duty truck makers, and PG&E.