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CALSTART receives CEC funding to develop megawatt truck charging

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The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and CALSTART have been awarded $13 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to jump-start California’s high-power charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The two organizations will lead this collaboration to launch the country’s first zero-emission, freight-charging corridor network.

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The multi-phase project, Research Hub for Electric Technologies in Truck Applications (RHETTA), will commence with a community-first engagement framework to ensure that pollution-impacted communities, low-income communities, and tribal communities are involved in creating and guiding the initiative.

Phase one of the RHETTA project will begin this month, with the goal of developing, testing, and implementing high-power electric vehicle (EV) chargers for trucks near Southern California’s two ports. The project will work toward developing high-power chargers that can provide 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $500 kW. Each pilot site will have two charging units that will serve as demonstrations sites to test and validate their use and impact. The high-power charging support extends the range of electric trucks and increases their market penetration. The first phase of the project runs through 2025.

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Other key elements include the creation of:

  • An online freight heatmap outlining freight hubs, travel patterns along major freight corridors, truck stops, and locations for truck charging in a web-accessible tool;
  • Two high-power charging demonstration sites – one near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and one in the Inland Empire – to provide technology and operational data; and
  • A plan for a statewide charging corridor network, including a workforce development strategy and templates for key freight corridors.

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