Volvo Group, the parent company for Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, announced Tuesday it has signed a Letter of Intent with Pilot Company on public charging infrastructure buildout.
The deal calls on Volvo Group to provide expertise in helping identify which locations should be prioritized for electromobility infrastructure, based on current and expected battery-electric truck adoption, customer charging requirements, as well as the availability of federal and state funding to offset capital expenses, while Pilot Company intends to install high-performance charging infrastructure at select "mutually identified travel center locations" at its Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S.
Early adopters of Mack's LR Electric and Volvo's VNR Electric have leaned heavily on depot/terminal charging to support their daily routes, where trucks return to one location to charge. Volvo says the introduction of public charging infrastructure that can accommodate medium- and heavy-duty fleets goes hand-in-hand with recent bipartisan support of the goal to increase BEV charging capabilities and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
Volvo Group adds its brands will identify selected Pilot and Flying J locations to be prioritized for high-performance charging, based on customer and driver needs, current and anticipated battery-electric truck density, and the availability of public funding to support infrastructure costs.
Once deployed, the Pilot and Flying J charging network will be open to heavy-duty vehicles of all brands. Chargers will be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers, which are ideally positioned along transportation corridors and are well-equipped to serve professional drivers. Pilot Company recently embarked on a $1 billion 'New Horizons' initiative to upgrade and prepare its locations for the future of travel, further enabling the development of charging networks for both passenger vehicles and Class 8 trucks, the company adds.
“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, 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.”
“Partnerships like this one are important for Mack, our industry, and for society as a whole,” adds Martin Weissburg, Mack trucks' president and chairman of Volvo Group North America. “Mack and the Volvo Group are committed to being leaders in the transition to zero-emission transportation and accelerating the availability of publicly accessible charging is crucial to achieving the decarbonized, sustainable future we’re dedicated to helping bring about.”
Pilot CEO Shameek Konar also adds the companies “are committed to developing transportation solutions that will guide and support the industry through the energy transition. 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.”