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Power Companies Want To Build Charging Stations Along West Coast Freeways

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Power companies from San Diego to Seattle are looking for ways to revolutionize the trucking industry. Their latest plan? To build electric-vehicle charging stations along the entire Interstate 5 corridor.

Lindsay Vanlaningham with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District says the goal is to reduce transportation emissions by converting long-haul trucks to electric vehicles.

She says high-speed stations could recharge a big-rig in about a half-hour. Stations with slower chargers would also be available for truckers who choose to replenish their batteries during overnight stays at truck stops.

Caroline Choi with Southern California Edison says transportation is a big contributor to poor air quality, including nearly 80 percent of the air pollution in California.

“So, if we [the trucking industry] went electric, it would be a significant reduction in both air pollutants and an improvement in greenhouse-gas emissions."

She says the I-5 initiative will start with a study to look at charging needs and best places to put the stations.

The study will focus on I-5, but it will also look at main connector routes, including Interstate 80 near Sacramento and Interstate 10 in Southern California. Utilities from Oregon and Washington are also involved.

The plan is to complete the study by the end of this year, with the first installation of chargers by early 2020.

Copyright 2019 Capital Public Radio