Joint Venture Moves to Next Phase of Commercial EV Charging and Hydrogen Fueling Network
The joint venture of Daimler Truck, NextEra Energy, and BlackRock Renewable Power has announced Greenline, the planned U.S. network of public charging and hydrogen fueling stations for medium- and heavy-duty commercial electric trucks.
Initially conceived in January of last year, the joint venture formed by Daimler Truck North America, NextEra Energy Resources, and BlackRock Alternatives has named Greenlane as the project to design, develop, and operate a new network of public charging and hydrogen fueling stations for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks in the U.S.
Greenlane charging and hydrogen fueling station rendering. Image used courtesy of Greenlane
With the announcement comes concept renderings of the Greenlane charging and fueling stations that will be placed along strategic freight routes on the east and west coasts of the U.S. and in Texas.
Expanding Access to Commercial EV Charging
Commercial trucks are a significant consumer of fossil fuels. However, a major barrier to the broader adoption of clean electric trucks (medium and heavy duty) is the availability of suitable charging and hydrogen fueling stations. The Greenlane joint venture was formed to address this need with plans to build charging stations along key freight routes across the U.S. western and eastern seaboard, and Texas, by 2026.
As the name suggests, the new network will offer a “green” lane, or corridor, for the next generation of commercial EV and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to reliably transport their goods to markets and customers throughout the US.
The recent announcement and concept renderings represent a milestone for the project, with the initial phase of construction scheduled to begin as early as 2023.
For its first location, Greenlane has chosen a site in Southern California and is in the process of acquiring additional sites across key freight routes. In addition to building new Greenlane stations, the project will integrate existing infrastructure and amenities into the new network where feasible.
The initial focus is charging infrastructure for battery-powered trucks, but the intention is to develop hydrogen fueling capabilities for fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
Greenlane joint venture charter. Image used courtesy of Daimler Truck
A Collaboration of Capabilities
The joint venture was formed with an initial investment of about $650 million split evenly among the three partners – Daimler, NextEra, and BlackRock – each bringing critical expertise to the project.
NextEra Energy has developed significant expertise in renewable energy production, grid integration, and reliability. NextEra is one of the largest renewable energy producers of wind and solar and is an investor in other charging infrastructure projects. The long-term vision is to use local renewable power generation and long-duration storage to reduce or eliminate reliance on grid power. Along with expertise in renewable energy production, NextEra also brings significant technical and operational capabilities for operating and maintaining the new network.
With the development of their all-electric Freightliner eCascadia model, Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) is emerging as a leader in commercial EV design and production. The eCascadia will be a Class 8 commercial truck capable of hauling as much as 82,000 pounds over distances as long as 230 miles on a single charge. The battery pack is designed for quick charging, going from 0 to 80% capacity in about 90 minutes.
Commercial vehicle charging. Image used courtesy of Greenlane
Working with Portland General Electric, DTNA was among the first to deploy a public charging station for commercial vehicles, critical for defining the interoperability of the new charging infrastructure with the powertrains and charging systems of emerging commercial EVs.
The BlackRock Renewable Power group is one of the world’s largest renewable power equity groups, with over $9.5 billion in committed capital allocated to wind, solar, EV charging, and battery energy storage projects across 15 countries and five continents. BlackRock brings a global perspective with significant financial and operating expertise in developing large infrastructure projects.