TeraWatt Infrastructure, the EV charging company started in May of 2021 by former Google energy strategist Neha Palmer, has raised a billion dollars from investors in its initial funding round. Now it has announced what it plans to do with some of that money. In a press release on October 20, it said it will “site, develop, and operate multiple charging centers for heavy duty electric trucks across the Interstate 10 highway. ”
Well, not all of Interstate 10, which stretches from Santa Monica in California to Jacksonville, Florida. What TeraWatt has in mind is providing charging plazas from the Port of Long Beach to El Paso that are focused on meeting the needs of long haul truckers, although any drivers in need of high power chargers will be welcome as well. The TeraWatt facilities, as shown in the graphic above, will feature pull-through charging bays that are able to accommodate tractor trailers (as well as families pulling boats and camping trailers).
“Long-haul trucking electrification represents a significant opportunity to reduce transportation sector emissions, but hinges on the rapid scale up of specialized charging infrastructure,” said TeraWatt CEO, Neha Palmer. “Our real estate and energy infrastructure development platform uniquely positions TeraWatt to solve the ‘charging problem’ for trucking operators, making freight electrification achievable within their operations.”
The TeraWatt Charging Centers along I-10 will be purpose-built to serve heavy duty and medium duty electric truck fleets and will featuring dozens of DC fast chargers, pull-through charging stalls, onsite driver amenities, and reliable operations including resiliency generation and zero carbon electricity options. TeraWatt will offer access to these sites both for the purposes of long-haul and local electric trucking operations, the company says.
The TeraWatt Charging Centers will be located approximately 150 miles apart to support the mileage range of commercially available electric trucks. Each site will range in size from four to 100 acres and will be located less than a mile from highway exits.
With TeraWatt, trucking companies have a dedicated partner to manage all operations related to charging infrastructure along the I-10 corridor. TeraWatt will operate and maintain its Charging Centers to the highest standards of reliability as well as incorporate advanced technology as commercially appropriate, such as renewable energy with battery back up and megawatt charging stations.
Electrive adds that the TeraWatt business model includes acquiring real estate in locations strategically relevant to fleets and plans to develop the energy and charging infrastructure required to operate commercial vehicles on a large scale. For the I-10 network, TeraWatt is banking on partnering with local and state governments and utilities and says it is planning to leverage various grants and incentives.
According to Palmer, part of TeraWatt’s strategy is to start the development process early enough to work with utilities from the beginning. “There will have to be a lot of collaboration between stakeholders, including grid owners, operators, utilities, regulators and end users, to ensure that the grid can evolve alongside the shift to electric transportation.”
There aren’t all that many battery-electric heavy duty trucks on the road today, partly because the charging infrastructure to support them is lacking. It’s a chicken or egg situation, but clearly TeraWatt sees a business opportunity here. And its investors must agree, since they just ponied up a billion dollars to make this happen.
The funding and tax incentives made possible by Congress and the Biden administration are a big part of getting projects like this off the ground and moving forward — something for Americans to consider when they step inside the voting booth in a few weeks. Nothing like this will ever happen if the opposition party has its way.
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Source: Clean Technica