- Pilot and auto manufacturer Volvo have agreed to develop a charging network for medium and heavy-duty electric trucks, according to a Tuesday announcement.
- The chargers will be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S. and will be open to all battery-electric Class 8 truck brands.
- This marks the next step for Pilot in its electric vehicle journey, as the company announced over the summer that it’s building a network of 2,000 fast charging stations across 500 of its U.S. travel centers, with the first stations ready to use by early 2023.
The initiative is Pilot and Volvo’s effort to address infrastructure problems that have hampered medium- and heavy-duty truck electrification, as well as create an opportunity for public funds from federal, state and local agencies to help build out a high-performance charging network, according to the announcement.
"Volvo Group's proven expertise in electric trucks, combined with our nationwide travel center network and robust energy platform, leverages our respective knowledge and resources to advance the nation's charging infrastructure,” Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot, said in the announcement.
Pilot and Volvo, as well as Volvo’s commercial truck brands in North America — Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks — will select the locations for the chargers, according to the announcement. They will pick based on customer and driver needs, current and anticipated battery-electric truck density, and the availability of public funding to help pay for construction.
Neither company commented on when the rollout will occur or at how many Pilot locations it will launch.
The move is part of Pilot’s $1 billion New Horizons initiative, which includes a variety of store and fueling updates aimed at modernizing the travel stop experience. As of November, Pilot said its three-year plan was on track, with updates completed at around 55 locations, while 60 stores had received a light update.
As c-store chains around the country continue to build out hundreds of EV charging stations on site, Pilot’s goal to have thousands marked the beginning of an EV arms race in the industry.
Pilot’s regular charging stations will feature canopies to help protect customers from the weather while charging, as well as a pull-through design, which allows easier charging for electric pickup trucks and SUVs pulling trailers. They’ll also be capable of offering up to 350-kilowatts.