California’s massive, ongoing push to completely electrify its public and private transportation sectors by 2035 is getting a major boost.. According to recent reports, the electric truck and charging station manufacturer Forum Mobility is planning to soon begin construction on a 96-vehicle capacity recharging depot for drayage carriers. These are the massive transports used to move goods between ports, distribution centers, and rail yards.
The news comes barely a month after the California Air Resources Board announced that, beginning next year, any new trucks purchased by a shipping company in the state must be an electric model powered by either hydrogen fuel cells or batteries. According to clean energy news site Electrek on Wednesday, funding for the 4.4-acre site will derive in part from a $4.5 million East Bay Community Energy (EBCE). Earlier this year, Forum Mobility also received a major additional investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, a program aimed at helping the massive retailer achieve net zero carbon by 2040.
“Today we can provide a Class 8 electric truck, and all its charging needs, at a monthly price that’s competitive with diesel—without the emissions,” Matt LeDucq, CEO and co-founder of Forum Mobility, said at the time.
Despite their comparatively small numbers compared to consumer vehicles, the EPA estimates that medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for around 23 percent of the nation’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Tackling that segment of industry is key to transitioning towards a green, sustainable infrastructure for not just California, but the US overall.
According to Electrek, California’s in-state drayage fleet includes an estimated 33,000 trucks, which the California Energy Commission has stated will require approximately 157,000 medium- and heavy-duty chargers by the decade’s end to comply with all new vehicle regulations. When faced with those numbers, the addition of a 96-vehicle charging facility may only seem like a drop in the bucket. But it is all-but-certain Forum Mobility’s Greenville Community Charging Depot is just the first of many similar announcements to come for the state. According to Forum Mobility’s CEO, the company is in the process of building enough recharging depots to simultaneously handle a total of 600 trucks over the next 18 months.