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Tesla is aiming to accelerate the rollout of its all-electric Semi trucks by requesting $100 million in federal funding to construct Megacharging stations between California and Texas.
The ambitious proposal, reported by CleanTechnica and Bloomberg, would build 9 solar-powered Megacharging sites strategically positioned along key freight routes. Each location could charge up to 8 Tesla Semi trucks simultaneously with massive 750-kilowatt chargers.
Tesla delivered its first electric semis to PepsiCo last year. Now it needs the infrastructure to support adoption by fleet operators across the country. The Megacharging funds would be a catalyst to spur the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.
Electric Semis Critical for Supply Chain Decarbonization
The transportation sector accounts for around 30% of total U.S. carbon emissions, with medium- and heavy-duty trucks contributing nearly a quarter of that, according to EPA data.
Electrifying semis is essential to reducing the carbon footprint of the nation’s supply chain and distribution networks. Trucking produces high levels of air pollution that impacts public health.
Tesla’s all-electric Semi can operate up to 500 miles on a single charge while carrying 82,000 lbs and accelerating faster than a diesel semi. It produces zero emissions, reducing the environmental impact.
Major companies like Walmart, FedEx and Anheuser-Busch have pre-ordered the Tesla Semi to lower their distribution emissions. But more charging infrastructure is needed to support mass adoption.
$100 Million Would Build Out Megacharging Corridor
Tesla’s funding request aims to construct solar-powered Megacharging stations at key intervals along major freight routes linking California and Texas.
The proposed locations include:
Kettleman City, CA
Arizona/New Mexico border
El Paso, TX
San Antonio, TX
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Each site would have up to 8 charging stalls providing 750 kW of power. This massive capacity enables charging an electric semi to 70% in just 30 minutes.
Strategically placed Megacharging stations would create an electric corridor to facilitate long-haul EV trucking. It would allow fleet operators to efficiently transport goods across key southern trade routes with minimal charging downtime.
Accelerating the EV Transition
The Biden administration has set a goal of electrifying 30% of the U.S. medium- and heavy-duty fleet by 2030. The $1 trillion infrastructure bill included $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure.
Tesla’s Megacharging proposal aligns with these objectives to catalyze the EV transition. Building out high-capacity chargers specifically for electric semi trucks will encourage faster adoption by fleet owners.
Major companies like Amazon, UPS and Walmart are announcing partnerships and pre-orders for electric semis. Tesla’s Megacharging network would provide the infrastructure to support their efforts.
Cutting carbon emissions from heavy transport is imperative to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Tesla’s plan would accelerate decarbonization of the freight industry.
The federal government is reviewing Tesla’s $100 million Megacharging proposal, with an announcement on funding approval expected later this year. Tesla may invest its own capital if the request is denied. But securing public infrastructure funds would supercharge the company’s semi truck aspirations.
For more on innovations enabling sustainable transport, follow our clean technology reporting. The road to zero-emission trucking is just starting.