The first-of-its-kind large public charging site for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles is now under construction in Portland, Ore. Portland General Electric (PGE) and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) on Dec. 1 announced the co-development of the site called “Electric Island” to help drive the development, testing, and deployment of zero-emission (tank-to-wheel) commercial vehicles.
The site is designed to support up to nine vehicle charging stations with charging levels of up to greater than one megawatt by spring 2021. Electric Island will provide DTNA, PGE, and the public at large the opportunity to charge light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles. Plans for more chargers, on-site energy storage, solar power generation, and a product and technology showcase building are also being finalized.
“In cooperation with PGE, and with the plan to expand electric vehicle charging right here in Portland to support not only our EV charging needs, but those of other drivers in the area, we are paving the way to a brighter, cleaner CO2-neutral future,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA. “As the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, we can accelerate this shift and are excited to address, holistically, the complete EV ecosystem. Daimler Trucks has made Portland our home for the past 73 years and having been born and raised in Oregon, I am incredibly proud to help make Swan Island an Electric Island.”
Electric Island is designed to inform both DTNA’s work in commercial electric vehicle development and PGE’s work in meeting its customers’ charging needs. The project will study the future of heavy-duty charging, including:
- Use of vehicle chargers featuring power delivery of up to over one megawatt (over four times faster than today’s fastest light-duty vehicle chargers).
- Integration of heavy-duty charging technology into PGE’s Smart Grid, such as vehicle-to-grid technologies, second-life use of Daimler’s battery packs, and on-site energy generation.
- Testing information technology opportunities like fleet and energy management.
“Oregon's transportation future is electric, and with global leaders like Daimler Trucks North America right here in Portland, we have the opportunity to accelerate a clean energy transition,” said Maria Pope, president and CEO of PGE. “We are excited to launch this cutting-edge partnership with DTNA, demonstrating what is possible when utilities and the automotive industry collaborate and innovate."
During ACT Expo in April 2019, DTNA's Nielsen declared that the future is changing, and that “the future is electric," and over the summer, Nielsen emphasized DTNA’s intent to put new products on the road, release new innovations, and develop new electrification partnerships.
“As I said back in 2019, the future is electric, and we are now well into our business of putting battery-electric vehicles on the road in every one of the segments that we compete,” Nielsen said in August. “The changes we have talked about seem to be accelerating from CARB [the California Air Resources Board] to the MOU among the 15 states that are interested in what CARB is doing. We have been on this road to electrification for some time.”