First-of-its-kind ‘Electric Island’ charging station for heavy-duty trucks now open in Portland, Oregon

First-of-its-kind ‘Electric Island’ charging station for heavy-duty trucks now open in Portland, Oregon
Electric Island, a joint venture between Daimler Trucks North America and Portland General Electric designed to meet the charging needs of commercial electric trucks, is now open in Portland, Oregon. (Courtesy: DTNA)

PORTLAND, Ore. — “Electric Island,” the first-of-its-kind heavy-duty electric truck-charging site, is now officially open in Portland, Oregon. The project is a joint venture between Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Portland General Electric (PGE).

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The charging site is positioned across the street from DTNA’s Portland headquarters, and is less than a mile from Interstate 5.

“Oregon is leading the way on the future of electric commercial vehicle production and charging,” said Maria Pope, president and CEO of PGE. “Our partnership with Daimler Trucks North America shows how working together we can accelerate the clean energy transition.”

Electric Island includes eight vehicle charging stations — a majority of which are available for public use — for the charging of electric semi-trucks, buses, box vans and cars. PGE and DTNA plan to use data gathered from the newly opened site to study energy management, charger use and performance and, in the case of DTNA, its own vehicles’ charging performance.

“Through collaboration with great partners like Portland General Electric, we are helping to shape the future of carbon-neutral freight transportation, starting right here in the City of Portland,” said John O’Leary, president and CEO of DTNA. “Moreover, the manufacture of reliable, durable and efficient medium- and heavy-duty battery electric trucks will take place just down the road at our Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant, demonstrating that we truly are crafting an Electric Island.”

Electric Island is the first charging site specifically designed for medium- and heavy-duty trucks aligned to the blueprint of the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative (WCCTCI). WCCTCI’s collaboration between nine electric utilities and two government agencies yielded a strategic plan in 2020 to electrify 1,300 miles of I-5 across the three West Coast states to provide publicly available charging for freight and delivery trucks.

The site is designed to keep Electric Island future-proof, allowing the chargers of today to be replaced with new charger technologies of the future, including the planned 1+ megawatt chargers when they are released. Additional plans for future on-site energy storage, solar power generation, and a product and technology showcase building remain under development.

“I applaud Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks North America for their partnership on this first-of-its-kind project. As Portland begins to move toward recovery from the pandemic and its economic impacts, we are still faced with the climate crisis, so it’s essential that we focus on opportunities to support the growth of the green economy and lead the way on a just transition to a low-carbon future,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Electric Island is a great example of the kind of collaboration and innovation we need to do so.”

Electric Island is designed to benefit both DTNA’s work in commercial electric vehicle development and PGE’s work in meeting customer charging needs. The site will enhance each company’s efforts by studying the future of heavy-duty charging, including:

  • Use of vehicle chargers featuring power delivery of up to more than 1 megawatt (over four times faster than today’s fastest light-duty vehicle chargers), enabling PGE and DTNA to develop best practices for cost-effective future deployments;
  • 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 onsite energy generation; and
  • Testing information technology opportunities such as fleet and energy management by captive solutions and services.

“In Oregon, we are committed to taking action to address climate change, and we know that the future of transportation is electric,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “The charging station at Electric Island, the first known freight charging station on the I-5 corridor, shows that Oregon is the ideal place to innovate and develop 21st-Century transportation infrastructure. Thanks to the partnership of Portland General Electric and Daimler Trucks North America, we are working together towards our goal of creating a West Coast Electric Highway.”

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