The initial investment round for TeraWatt Infrastructure, the EV charging business founded in May 2021 by former Google energy expert Neha Palmer, raised $1 billion from investors. The intentions for how it will use some of that money are now known to announced . It stated that it would “site, develop, and operate many charging sites for heavy duty electric vehicles across the Interstate 10 highway” in an press release on October 20.
Well, not the entire Interstate 10, which runs from Jacksonville, Florida, to Santa Monica, California. In order to address the needs of long-haul truckers, TeraWatt plans to set up charging plazas from the Port of Long Beach to El Paso, though any drivers in need of high-power chargers will be welcomed as well. The TeraWatt facilities will have pull-through charging bays that can accommodate tractor trucks, as seen in the illustration above (as well as families pulling boats and camping trailers).
According to TeraWatt CEO Neha Palmer, “Long-haul trucking electrification represents a major opportunity to cut emissions in the transportation industry, but depends on the rapid expansion of specialized charging infrastructure.” “TeraWatt is ideally positioned by our real estate and energy infrastructure development platform to address the ‘charging dilemma’ for trucking operators and enable freight electrification within their operations.”
With dozens of DC fast chargers, pull-through charging stalls, on-site driver amenities, and reliable operations like resiliency generation and zero carbon electricity options, the TeraWatt Charging Centers along I-10 will be specifically designed to serve heavy duty and medium duty electric truck fleets. According to the company, TeraWatt will provide access to these locations for both long- and short-distance electric transportation operations.
To accommodate the range of commercially available electric trucks, the TeraWatt Charging Centers will be spaced roughly 150 miles apart. Each site will be between four and 100 acres in size and less than a mile from an exit from a highway.
Trucking businesses now have a committed partner in TeraWatt to oversee all activities relating to the charging infrastructure along the I-10 corridor. When financially feasible, TeraWatt will implement cutting-edge technology into the operation and upkeep of its Charging Centers, such as megawatt charging stations and renewable energy with battery backup.
The TeraWatt business strategy, according to Electrive , also entails buying property in areas that are strategically important to fleets and has ambitions to build the energy and charging infrastructure necessary to run commercial cars on a massive scale. TeraWatt says it plans to take advantage of various subsidies and incentives for the I-10 network and that it is relying on partnerships with municipal, state, and utility organizations.
Palmer claims that one aspect of TeraWatt’s plan is to begin the development process far enough in advance to collaborate with utilities right away. “To ensure that the grid can evolve along with the shift to electric transportation, there will need to be a lot of coordination across stakeholders, including grid owners, operators, utilities, regulators, and end users.”
THE CONCLUSION Currently, there aren’t very many battery-powered heavy duty vehicles on the road, in part due to a lack of a charging infrastructure. Although this is a chicken-or-egg scenario, TeraWatt obviously sees a business opportunity. And given that they just contributed $1 billion to make this happen, its investors must also agree.
Projects like these can only forward with the financing and tax incentives made available by Congress and the Biden administration; this is something voters should keep in mind while casting their ballots in a few weeks. If the opposition party gets its way, nothing similar will ever occur.
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