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Tesla Seeks $97 Million for Electrified Trucking Corridor – Connecting Fremont to Laredo
Reportedly, Tesla is planning to establish a series of nine electric semi-truck charging stations, spanning from northern California to the southern border of Texas. The company is said to be requesting approximately $100 million in funding from the US government to facilitate the construction of these charging stations.
Based on emails obtained by Bloomberg News, Tesla executives have been in communication with the Texas Department of Transportation, proposing their plan between May and early July. Their proposal outlines equipping each station with eight 750-kilowatt chargers specifically designed for Tesla Semi trucks, along with four chargers compatible with trucks produced by other manufacturers.
If the initiative proves successful, it would lead to the establishment of a pioneering charging infrastructure in the United States, facilitating long-haul electrified trucking between Texas and California, where Tesla has significant manufacturing and engineering operations. Additionally, these strategically placed charging stations would support regional-haul trucking activities in Texas, Arizona, and California.
Furthermore, the creation of this charging corridor holds particular significance for Tesla as it would serve as a crucial link connecting their US plants to the upcoming factory they intend to construct in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, situated just south of the Texas border.
The proposed corridor is set to extend from Fremont, California, reaching all the way to Laredo, Texas, situated at the US-Mexico border. Key stations along this route include Bakersfield (CA), Compton (CA), Indio (CA), Phoeniz (AZ), San Simon (AZ), Sparks (TX), and Fort Stockton (TX). Spanning approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers), this corridor holds significant potential for enabling long-haul electrified trucking.
Tesla executives have expressed to Texas officials that this corridor could potentially qualify for federal grants allocated through the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bill aims to modernize US transit systems by increasing the number of EV charging stations available for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
To pursue this ambitious project, Tesla has requested Texas state officials to support their application for funding by providing a letter of endorsement, submitted in June. The company plans to contribute $24 million towards the initiative, with an additional $97 million sought from the government.
To accommodate the Tesla Semi trucks, the company has developed specialized charging stations called Megachargers. While Tesla has already deployed some of these Megachargers at their own facilities, including Gigafactory Nevada, and at distribution centers owned by PepsiCo, the Semi’s inaugural customer, the focus now seems to be on establishing permanent Megachargers, as originally promised when the Semi was unveiled in 2017. This initiative indicates Tesla’s dedication to expanding and enhancing its charging infrastructure to support the adoption of electric commercial vehicles.
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