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Electric Truck Stops Will Need as Much Power as a Small Town

Tesla rolls out its Semi next month, adding pressure on the trucking industry to go green. But grid upgrades must start now if the new era is to last.   

Tesla’s Semi

Tesla’s Semi

Courtesy of Tesla

Corrected

Next month, Tesla Inc. plans to deliver the first of its electric Semi trucks—able to haul a full 40 ton-load some 500 miles on a single charge. These massive batteries-on-wheels may accelerate the transition to electrified transport, but those responsible for delivering the power are starting to ask: Are we ready for this? 

Probably not, according to a sweeping new study of highway charging requirements conducted by utility company National Grid Plc. Researchers found that by 2030, electrifying a typical highway gas station will require as much power as a professional sports stadium—and that’s mostly just for electrified passenger vehicles. As more electric trucks hit the road, the projected power needs for a big truck stop by 2035 will equal that of a small town.