‘Truck Stop of the Future’ to Serve Passenger EVs

State of Michigan and Daimler team up on electric-vehicle charging hub for trucks
Michigan's Mobility Charging Hub
Photograph courtesy of Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The state of Michigan is working with Daimler Truck North America LLC and DTE Energy to construct a 'Truck Stop of the Future' with EV charging station for freight truck fleets at an interstate site, a state government agency said Friday.

Armed with $13 million in funding, including $8.5 million from the federal government, the Mobility Charging Hub also plans to provide grants for future activations. The expanded EV charging capacity also will serve EV passenger vehicles.

“Freight trucks drive commerce, deliver goods and connect businesses throughout the nation, which is why it is critical to prepare this industry for the future,” said Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Our Mobility Charging Hub will help more companies electrify their fleets, cement Michigan’s leadership in the future of freight, and rebuild our transportation infrastructure to support the economy of tomorrow. Over the past five years, our administration has made progress investing in infrastructure and positioning Michigan as the best place to innovate the future, and we are taking that one step further with this ‘truck stop of the future.’ We will work with anyone to ensure more innovators and companies can make it in Michigan.”

State and Federal Funds

The $13 million in funding includes $8.5 million in federal funds from a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant award to Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) will establish a grant program to fund new EV charging capacity at publicly accessible sites. The office works with private industry, universities and state government agencies to scale up emerging technologies and businesses.

Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and Detroit-based DTE Energy are the initial project partners, and the first step is to build the core EV charging infrastructure at a DTNA multi-acre Redford, Michigan facility near I-96 used by over 10,000 commercial trucks daily, according to a news release. About 30% of truck and rail freight traveling to and from the United States and Canada goes through Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said

In May, officials from the United States, Canada and the state of Michigan announced development of the Binational Electric Vehicle Corridor, a U.S.-Canada electric-vehicle corridor stretching from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Quebec City in Canada, with direct-current fast chargers installed about every 50 miles. The two countries have agreed to common standards for EV chargers and said they would develop an alternative fuel corridor between the two nations.

The Biden administration wants electric vehicles to represent 50% of all new vehicle sales in the United States by 2030 and has a goal of 500,000 EV chargers installed across America to help cut fuel emissions 50% by 2030. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act provide public dollars to help achieve the goals. Private and public companies have stepped up with new investments in EV charging and related technologies.

Corporate Partners

DTNA offers workforce training related to EVs, which is expected to expand as new jobs are created.

“At DTNA, we are driven by our vision of leading sustainable transformation at the speed of right,” said Rakesh Aneja, head of eMobility at DTNA. “After introducing Electric Island, a first-of-its-kind heavy-duty electric truck charging site in Portland, Oregon, and investing in Greenlane this year, a joint venture for public charging infrastructure, we are excited to partner with the State of Michigan and DTE in this innovative Mobility Charging Hub. Our 130-acre Detroit manufacturing plant, home to our diesel and electric Detroit Powertrains and powered by more than 3,000 employees, is the ideal location for this project.”

DTE, a Detroit-based energy company, will operate the EV charging solutions, solar canopies and battery energy storage systems at the Mobility Charging Hub. It plans to partner with other companies to provide value-added services, similar to collaborations the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has been involved with, such as the  Detroit Smart Parking Lab, a partnership between Bedrock, Bosch, Ford and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). The MI Future Mobility Plan also is providing funding and other incentives for the transition to EV charging.

“We're excited to partner with the state of Michigan and DTNA to put this site on a key highway corridor for commercial vehicles,” said Tony Tomczak, vice president of electric sales and marketing at DTE. On Wednesday, DTE Energy appointed Joi Harris president and chief operating officer of DTE, reporting to the chairman and CEO Jerry Norcia. Harris will lead DTE Gas, where she served as president, and DTE Electric. She also will oversee DTE’s  customer service, IT, corporate services and environmental management and safety organizations.

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