The Volvo Group and Pilot Company, an operator of travel centers in North America, have signed a Letter of Intent to develop a national, public charging network to support the scaling of battery-electric Volvo VNR Electric trucks.
To accelerate development of the charging network, Pilot Company intends to install high-performance charging infrastructure at selected Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S. and will be open to heavy-duty vehicles of all brands. The strategic partnership will provide fleets with a more seamless electromobility journey by addressing charging infrastructure accessibility and roadblocks, including long project lead times and high installation costs, that can otherwise delay scaled deployment of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).
“As we work to build a more sustainable, decarbonized transport system, our team firmly believes that partnership is the new leadership. We look forward to working side by side with Pilot Company, and combining our unique industry insights, expertise, and resources to develop a comprehensive, nationwide charging network,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “Our VNR Electric customers, as well as other fleets looking to adopt battery-electric trucks, will have peace of mind that they can access a reliable and robust, publicly accessible charging network strategically located along major transportation corridors, enabling them to extend their operating radius and decarbonize even more of their routes.”
Through its collaboration with Pilot Company, Volvo will help identify which of the existing Pilot and Flying J travel centers should be prioritized for high-performance charging infrastructure based on current and anticipated battery-electric truck deployment volume, customers charging needs and patterns, and the availability of federal and state funding to support capital costs. This partnership places Pilot Company and Volvo at the forefront of accelerating electrification adoption and developing sustainable and reliable transportation solutions for generations of battery-electric trucks to come.
“Pilot Company and Volvo are wholly invested in transportation solutions that will guide and support the industry through the energy transition,” said Shameek Konar, CEO, Pilot Company. “Joining forces with Volvo, an expert in freight technology, furthers our mutual commitment towards nationwide electrification and sustainable transportation infrastructure. This strategic partnership is aligned with our goal to meet customers where they are headed, now and in the future.”
The Volvo VNR Electric, which has a current range of up to 275 miles (442 km), was designed by Volvo Trucks North America to enable fleets to perform urban and regional distribution with zero-tailpipe emissions. To date, early adopters of VNR Electric trucks have utilized depot charging to support their daily routes, where trucks return to one location to charge. The introduction of public charging infrastructure that can accommodate medium- and heavy-duty fleets goes hand-in-hand with recent bipartisan support of the goal to increase BEV charging capabilities and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
Pilot Company operates a network of more than 750 travel centers throughout North America, covering 44 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. The company is focused on providing its guests with comprehensive amenities to make road travel easier—including restaurants, shopping, Wi-Fi, and restrooms—and the installation of high-performance charging infrastructure helps further extend the benefits offered to the trucking community.