Several public power entities on April 18 said that they are sponsoring a study to determine how best to ensure that Interstate 5, which extends more than 1,300 miles from the Canadian to the Mexican border, is equipped with sufficient charging to support electric long-haul trucks.
Nine electric utilities and two agencies representing more than two dozen public power utilities are sponsoring the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative.
Public power initiative sponsors are California’s Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Seattle City Light, Northern California Power Agency, and the Southern California Public Power Authority.
Investor-owned utilities that are initiative sponsors are California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, Oregon’s Portland General Electric, Washington State’s Puget Sound Energy and Pacific Power in Portland, Ore.
The study will explore how best to provide EV charging on I-5 and its connecting routes for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks that are being introduced by several major vehicle manufacturers, as well as to help determine what role electricity providers can play in electrifying the corridor. Key locations for electric truck charging infrastructure will also be identified and prioritized.
“It’s these types of opportunities that continue to push us toward a more sustainable future,” said Bill Boyce, manager of Electric Transportation for SMUD. “We are proud to partner on a local, regional and national level to reduce emissions from vehicles, and this effort to electrify our trade corridors will have significant benefits to the communities we serve.”
“Big challenges require bold and collaborative solutions, and climate change is such a challenge,” said Emeka Anyanwu, Energy Innovation and Resources officer for Seattle City Light. “So, it is exciting to see such the wide range of experience and diversity of thinking from our various utilities being brought to bear to tackle such a critical issue.”
“We’re very pleased about this opportunity to partner with electric utilities in our region and assess how we can support reducing emissions from the transportation sector,” said Randy Howard, General Manager of NCPA. “Our members are focused on de-carbonizing their generating resources and providing clean, reliable electricity to their customers. The power from these zero- and low-carbon resources can be used to electrify the transportation sector, reducing harmful toxics and criteria air pollutants and helping achieve California’s climate goals.”
A news release from SMUD related to the study said that in California, the transportation sector accounts for nearly 80% of the state’s air pollution and more than 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions. “Washington and Oregon face similar environmental challenges, transportation being the largest contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in those states as well,” the news release said.
The study is expected to be concluded by year’s end, with implementation of recommendations expected to begin as soon as next year.