$650M Joint Venture Aims to Boost EV Truck Charging Network
A major electric vehicle charging network for trucks that have been in the planning stages since early 2022 became official this year, thanks to a new joint venture between Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), NextEra Energy Resources, and BlackRock Alternatives.
The venture, called Greenlane, was announced on April 28.
Its mission is to “design, develop, install and operate” a national network of public charging and hydrogen fueling stations for medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Blackrock’s participation is through a fund managed by its Climate Infrastructure business.
The Greenlane JV is valued at more than $650 million. Its initial site will be in Southern California, and “multiple additional sites” are being acquired along various freight routes.
Much of the early work will involve collaborating on infrastructure. Engineers and tech staff will also develop a customized commercial vehicle reservation platform for use by fleet managers, dispatchers, and drivers.
Photo Courtesy drivegreenlane
“Greenlane is designed to begin to tackle one of the greatest hurdles to the trucking industry’s decarbonization – infrastructure,” DTNA CEO John O’Leary said in a statement. “The nation’s fleets can only transform with the critical catalyst of publicly accessible charging designed to meet the needs for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. We are launching Greenlane to address the unique demands of the industry, support our mutual customers, and provide a dual benefit to all electric vehicle drivers who will be able to utilize this new network.”
The network will be built on important freight routes along the east and west coasts and in Texas.
Whenever possible, Greenlane will leverage existing infrastructure and amenities while “also adding complementary greenfield sites” to fulfill anticipated customer demand, the press release said. The initial focus will be on battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, followed by hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell trucks. Later plans are to expand access to light-duty vehicles.
The launch of the network comes amid a move by companies to “shift the focus of their decarbonization efforts to their value chains,” ESG Today reported. The goal is to lower transportation emissions – a major source of total value-chain emissions.
This is an important consideration as regulators pressure shipping companies to lower their carbon footprint. In April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a news release announcing new proposed emissions standards for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles for model year 2027 and beyond.
The new rules are designed to “significantly reduce climate and other harmful air pollution, unlocking significant benefits for public health, especially in communities that have borne the greatest burden of poor air quality,” the EPA said.
The Greenlane network will go a long way toward addressing that problem because of its wide reach, financial resources, and industry expertise. As CleanTechnica reported, NextEra Energy Resources, DTNA, and BlackRock Alternatives “bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the venture.”
NextEra is the world’s leading renewable energy provider from solar and wind and a “significant investor in charging infrastructure and electric vehicles,” CleanTechnica noted. DTNA brings expertise and experience in producing electric trucks, vans, and school buses, while BlackRock’s Renewable Power group is one of the world’s biggest renewable-energy investment platforms.
“Reliable charging infrastructure is a critical component of the electrification of the commercial trucking industry,” said David Giordano, BlackRock Alternatives’ global head of climate infrastructure. “Greenlane provides an exciting opportunity to partner with key players in the energy transition and bring institutional capital to the growing sector.”