Publication Detail

Assessment of Requirements, Costs, and Benefits of Providing Charging Facilities for Battery-Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks at Safety Roadside Rest Areas


Research Report

National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Download PDF

Suggested Citation:
Burke, Andrew (2022) Assessment of Requirements, Costs, and Benefits of Providing Charging Facilities for Battery-Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks at Safety Roadside Rest Areas. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-22-03

The objective of this research was to determine the possibilities for and barriers to the provision of battery charging infrastructure for heavy-duty electric trucks at roadside rest areas in California. The initial sections of the report deal with the prospects for battery-electric long-haul trucks and the battery technology needed to make those electric trucks practical and the market for them to be successful. Simulations of trucks using present lithium battery technology indicated that for a range of 600 miles, the battery pack would need to store about1200 kWh. It is not practical to fit a battery of that size on the tractor of the truck. Another approach is to design a truck with a 300 mile range and plan to partially charge the battery once or twice during the day at rest areas. The truck could also be charged overnight at the rest areas. The total range per day could be 600 miles or more. The partial charges would put 65% of the capacity of the battery in at the 1C rate (a 60 minute charge). A 450-500 kW charging facility would be needed at the rest areas. The 300 mile range electric truck could operate much like the diesel truck with the driver taking 60 minute breaks every 200-225 miles to charge the battery. The cost analysis of the 300 mile truck indicates its TCO is less than that of the diesel truck. In California, there are Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS)credits to reduce the costs to operate the charging facility. If applicable, the LCFS station credits ($/yr) can be as much as $65k/yr per charger up to the total cost of the facility in about five years. The LCFS electricity credit would permit the cost of electricity to be only $.12/kWh to charge the batteries, because the price includes the LCFS credit to the utility. Hence with LCFS credits, the cost of operating the charging facility could be low in the early years while the market for electric long-haul trucks is developing. Caltrans maintains 86 safety rest areas along highways in California with 53 along Interstate highways. If battery charging facilities were established at about 35 of these rest areas, they would be about 100 miles apart or a little closer. Caltrans could assist private contractors in establishing a network of charging facilities for electric trucks. The total initial cost could be about $50million. The major barrier to Caltrans participating in the battery charging project is that current law prohibits commercial businesses at the rest areas which would not allow charging for the electricity dispensed. There has been consideration in both California and at the federal level to relax the non-commercial requirements at the rest areas for battery charging because the need for a battery charging network is well recognized.

Key words: Long haul truck, battery-electric, rest stops, battery charging