DTNA, Portland General Electric open HD electric truck charging site

The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2, and Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley at Electric Island.
The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2, and Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley at Electric Island.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Portland General Electric (PGE) opened what the partnering companies are calling the first-of-its-kind heavy-duty electric truck charging site, called “Electric Island.”

Electric Island will help accelerate the development, testing and deployment of zero emissions (tank to wheel) commercial vehicles, like the ones manufactured by DTNA.

First announced in December 2020, Electric Island opens with eight vehicle charging stations (a majority of which are available for public use) for the charging of electric cars, buses, box vans and semi-trucks. The site is built to immediately provide charging for EVs of all shapes and sizes, and will serve as an innovation center, allowing both PGE and DTNA to study energy management, charger use and performance, and, in the case of DTNA, its own vehicles’ charging performance.

[RELATED: DTNA introduces large public charging site to accelerate development of zero-emission vehicles]

Electric Island is located across the street from DTNA headquarters, less than one mile from I-5, and represents the first location specifically designed for medium- and heavy-duty trucks aligned to the blueprint of the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative (WCCTCI). WCCTCI’s collaboration between nine electric utilities and two government agencies yielded a strategic plan in 2020 to electrify 1,300 miles of I-5 across the three West Coast states to provide publicly available charging for freight and delivery trucks. 

The site is designed to keep Electric Island future-proof, allowing the chargers of today to be replaced with new charger technologies of the future, including the planned 1+ megawatt chargers, when they are released. Additional plans for future on-site energy storage, solar power generation, and a product and technology showcase building remain under development, according to an announcement.

Electric Island Aerial View

Maria Pope, president and CEO of PGE says, “Oregon is leading the way on the future of electric commercial vehicle production and charging. Our partnership with Daimler Trucks North America shows how working together we can accelerate the clean energy transition.”

John O’Leary, president and CEO of DTNA says, “Through collaboration with great partners like Portland General Electric, we are helping to shape the future of carbon-neutral freight transportation, starting right here in the City of Portland. Moreover, the manufacture of reliable, durable and efficient medium- and heavy-duty battery electric trucks will take place just down the road at our Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant, demonstrating that we truly are crafting an Electric Island.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown says, “In Oregon, we are committed to taking action to address climate change and we know that the future of transportation is electric. Today, the charging station at Electric Island, the first known freight charging station on the I-5 corridor, shows that Oregon is the ideal place to innovate and develop 21st-Century transportation infrastructure. Thanks to the partnership of Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks North America, we are working together towards our goal of creating a West Coast Electric Highway.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says, “I applaud Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks North America for their partnership on this first-of-its-kind project. As Portland begins to move toward recovery from the pandemic and its economic impacts, we are still faced with the climate crisis, so it’s essential that we focus on opportunities to support the growth of the green economy and lead the way on a just transition to a low-carbon future. Electric Island is a great example of the kind of collaboration and innovation we need to do so.”

Electric Island is designed to benefit both DTNA’s work in commercial electric vehicle development and PGE’s work in meeting customer charging needs. The site will inform each company’s efforts by studying the future of heavy-duty charging, including:

  • Use of vehicle chargers featuring power delivery of up to over one megawatt (over four times faster than today’s fastest light-duty vehicle chargers), enabling PGE and DTNA to develop best practices for cost-effective future deployments;
  • Integration of heavy-duty charging technology into PGE’s Smart Grid, such as vehicle-to-grid technologies, second-life use of Daimler’s battery packs, and onsite energy generation; and
  • Testing information technology opportunities like fleet and energy management by captive solutions and services. 
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