Daimler Truck North America, NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Renewable Power Announce Plans To Accelerate Public Charging Infrastructure For Commercial Vehicles Across The U.S.
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA), NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and BlackRock Renewable Power (BlackRock) today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to lay the foundation for a proposed joint venture (JV) to design, develop, install and operate a nationwide, high-performance charging network for medium- and heavy-duty battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. With the goal of accelerating the rollout of carbon-neutral freight transportation, start of operations for the future JV is planned for 2022. Initial funding is expected to be comprised of approximately $650 million divided equally among the three parties.
Lack of a publicly available, nationwide electric charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles, especially those used for long-haul freight operations, remains one of the biggest barriers for widespread deployment of electric trucks. With formation of this JV, the three parties will be pooling their resources to address this challenge. The parties plan to build a network of charging sites on critical freight routes along the east and west coasts and in Texas by 2026, leveraging existing infrastructure and amenities while adding complementary greenfield sites to fulfill anticipated customer demand. First phase is set to begin construction in 2023.
Initial focus will be on 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.
The proposed JV will benefit from the broad experience and knowledge of its founding members. NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, is also a significant investor in electric and charging infrastructure and brings experience optimizing renewable energy, resiliency and grid integration. DTNA offers the expertise of developing electric trucks (start of production of battery electric Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 in 2022/23), walk-in vans and school buses, and the experience of providing consultant services to its customers, the nation’s fleet operators. In cooperation with the local utility company Portland General Electric (PGE), DTNA opened the first-of-its-kind public charging site for commercial vehicles in the U.S. BlackRock’s Renewable Power group is one of the largest renewable power equity investment platforms in the world. The group seeks to invest across the spectrum of renewable power and energy transition supporting infrastructure globally, with over $9.5 billion in total commitments and investments in over 350 wind and solar projects, in addition to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and battery energy storage systems, across 15 countries and 5 continents. BlackRock’s Renewable Power group is a part of BlackRock Real Assets.