Utilities along the entire West Coast are joining together to create an electric highway to power long-haul shipping from Mexico to Canada along Interstate 5.
The effort includes Sacramento Municipal Utility District and PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG), which with other utilities are preparing to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure for trucks to improve air quality and efficiency on the busy shipping corridor.
“It’s these types of opportunities that continue to push us toward a more sustainable future,” said Bill Boyce, manager of electric transportation with SMUD, in a news release. “We are proud to partner on a local, regional and national level to reduce emissions from vehicles, and this effort to electrify our trade corridors will have significant benefits to the communities we serve.”
In Sacramento, SMUD has been working to develop electricity as a transportation fuel since 1990 as part of its mandate to improve air quality. The entire Sacramento region is working to position itself as a leader in clean transportation and autonomous vehicle technology.
In total, more than 24 municipal utilities are sponsoring the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, a study that will decide the best way to create sufficient electric truck charging for nearly 1,400 miles from Blaine, Washington, to San Ysidro near the Mexican Border.
The utilities are going to study the best way to provide EV charging on I-5 — and on major connecting routes — to power heavy-duty electric trucks that are now being introduced into truck fleets. Part of the goal of the study is to determine key charging and infrastructure locations. The study is expected to be concluded by the end of this year, with implementation recommendations expected as soon as next year.
SMUD, PG&E study electric long-haul trucking future, by Mark Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal, April 22, 2019.