West Coast Electric Highway

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

In an excellent example of strategic planning, America's west coast is set to invest in electric charging facilities for trucks.


Transportation is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in the U.S. - with a quarter of that coming from medium and heavy-duty trucks belching diesel - and the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative is designed to help address this issue. Recently, utilities and state agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington announced plans to transform highway infrastructure that would speed the transition from fossil fuel to electric for freight lorries.


The West Coast initiative calls for electrifying main freight routes across the region by installing charging stations for trucks. It’s projected to cost around $850 million but is deemed a worthy and necessary investment as governments begin planning their economic recoveries from the coronavirus crisis.


It is also expected that Tesla, and other manufacturers looking to build electric powered freight vehicles, will be spurred into speeding up production and deliveries.


The plan is to ultimately create electric charging stations every 50 miles along Interstate 5, which runs up the West Coast, by 2025. First, the states will install charging stations for medium-duty vehicles, such as delivery vans, and then provide upgraded facilities to also charge big rig trucks.


In Europe, a similar initiative has been announced in Germany, albeit just for cars. Here the government has mandated that all petrol stations be required to install electric charging stations in order to overcome drivers' number one concern - running out of power - and thereby accelerate the nation's switch from fossil fuels to cleaner electric.