The Volvo Group and travel center operator Pilot Co. have signed a letter of intent to develop a national, public charging network to support the scaling of battery-electric Volvo VNR Electric trucks.
To accelerate development of the charging network, Pilot intends to install high-performance charging infrastructure at a selected existing network of Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S. and will be open to heavy-duty vehicles of all brands. The strategic partnership will provide fleets with a more seamless electromobility journey by addressing charging infrastructure accessibility and roadblocks, including long project lead times and high installation costs, which can otherwise delay scaled deployment of battery-electric vehicles (BEV).
“As we work to build a more sustainable, decarbonized transport system, our team firmly believes that partnership is the new leadership. We look forward to working side by side with Pilot Company, and combining our unique industry insights, expertise, and resources to develop a comprehensive, nationwide charging network,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Our VNR Electric customers, as well as other fleets looking to adopt battery-electric trucks, will have peace of mind that they can access a reliable and robust, publicly accessible charging network strategically located along major transportation corridors, enabling them to extend their operating radius and decarbonize even more of their routes.”
Through its collaboration with Pilot, Volvo will help identify which of the existing Pilot and Flying J travel centers should be prioritized for high-performance charging infrastructure based on current and anticipated battery-electric truck deployment volume, customers charging needs and patterns, and the availability of federal and state funding to support capital costs.
“Pilot Company and Volvo are committed to developing transportation solutions that will guide and support the industry through the energy transition,” comments Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot. “Joining forces with Volvo, an expert in freight technology, aligns with our goal to support sustainable transportation infrastructure and to meet our customers where they are headed, now and in the future.”
The Volvo VNR Electric, which has a current range of up to 275 miles, was designed by Volvo Trucks North America to enable fleets to perform urban and regional distribution with zero-tailpipe emissions. To date, early adopters of VNR Electric trucks have utilized depot charging to support their daily routes, where trucks return to one location to charge.
Pilot operates a network of more than 750 travel centers throughout North America, covering 44 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces.