Pilot Co. Partners With a 2nd Automaker on EV-Charging Network

New project meant to enable widespread adoption of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks
Photograph courtesy of Pilot Co.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Travel-center retailer Pilot Co. is taking its commitment to build an electric-vehicle charging network to a new level with a new agreement with Volvo Group to develop a high-performance charging network open to all battery-electric Class 8 truck brands.

This strategic partnership and collaboration with the automobile manufacturer will provide fleets with an electromobility solution, the company said, that enables widespread adoption of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks.

"Pilot Company is eager to help our customers attain their sustainability goals by partnering with the Volvo Group to develop the infrastructure and systems needed to move toward a more decarbonized future," said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Co. "Volvo Group's proven expertise in electric trucks combined with our nationwide travel-center network and robust energy platform leverages our respective knowledge and resources to advance the nation's charging infrastructure. We look forward to working together to develop a holistic solution for electrified fleets, further enabling the transportation industry's energy transition."

  • Pilot is No. 12 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. 

The letter of intent comes four months after Pilot announced a partnership with General Motors and charging network EVgo to build out a network of 350-kilowatt EV chargers at many its travel-center locations across the United States.

The collaboration between Pilot and the Volvo Group aligns with bipartisan goals to increase battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) charging capabilities and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry, the companies said. Through this strategic partnership, both companies are committed to overcoming infrastructure roadblocks in support of medium- and heavy-duty truck electrification, they said, creating an ideal opportunity for public funds from federal, state and local agencies to accelerate the development of a high-performance charging network.

"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, which produces Volvo and Mack trucks. "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."

Chargers will be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers, which are positioned along transportation corridors and are equipped to serve professional drivers. Pilot Company also recently embarked on a $1 billion New Horizons initiative to upgrade and prepare its locations for the future of travel, further enabling the development of charging networks for both passenger vehicles and Class 8 trucks. Chargers will be installed at mutually identified travel-center locations based on customer needs, current and anticipated battery-electric truck density, and the availability of public funding to support infrastructure costs.

"Partnerships like this one are important for Mack, our industry, and for society as a whole," said Martin Weissburg, president of Mack Trucks and chairman of Volvo Group North America. "Mack and the Volvo Group are committed to being leaders in the transition to zero-emission transportation, and accelerating the availability of publicly accessible charging is crucial to achieving the decarbonized, sustainable future we're dedicated to helping bring about."

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., the Pilot Co.’s Pilot Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces. The retailer also operates more than 170 locations branded Mr. Fuel, Pride and Stamart travel centers.

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