Public charging infrastructure in the USA is supposed to be enhanced by a joint venture to be created between Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Renewable Power. The three partners have announced an equally shared investment of 650 million dollars (around 580 million euros) with the aim to design, develop, install and operate a high-performance, nationwide U.S. charging network for medium- and heavy-duty battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. First sites are expected to be built in 2023.
NextEra Energy Resources is a significant investor in electric infrastructure and brings experience optimizing renewable energy and grid integration. BlackRock Renewable Power operates one of the largest renewable power equity investment platforms in the world.
Accelerating the creation of public charging infrastructure in the USA
«The planned joint venture with NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock is another building block in our global partnership strategy to accelerate the infrastructure required for carbon-neutral commercial transportation», said Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck. «Whether in the U.S. or in Europe, these kind of collaborations are essential to successfully tackle the urgent need for zero emission vehicles. Daimler Truck North America, together with its two new allies, is taking the wheel and paving the way for a nationwide infrastructure for battery-electric and hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles in the U.S.».
Removing the barriers
Like in Europe, the lack of a publicly available, nationwide electric charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles in the US, especially for long-haul freight operations, remains one of the biggest barriers for widespread deployment of electric trucks. Initial focus will be on charging stations for battery electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles followed by hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell trucks. The sites will also be available for light-duty vehicles to serve the greater goal of electrifying mobility.
Daimler Truck North America is highly committed in electric vehicles. Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 electric trucks have been made available for pre-orders in North America in May 2021. Start of production of these vehicles is expected to start in 2022 or 2023, according to the latest releases.