Daimler Truck North America announced a $650 million joint venture to develop a hydrogen fueling and charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Greenlane is the name of the joint venture that Daimler, NextEra Energy Means, and BlackRock Possibilities established in 2022. It plans to increase charging stations and hydrogen stations along “different freight routes” along the coasts and in Texas, beginning with a site in Southern California, according to a press release from Daimler.

The precise location and opening day will be disclosed at a later time, but it may not be a coincidence that the company declared its intention to “forge ahead” with the new job on the identical day that the Senate voted to block the promotion of additional electric trucks by rescinding stricter EPA rules—and just two days after California voted to implement its own Highly developed Clear Fleets rules in favour of additional electric trucks.

Daimler did not provide details on the number of websites or the division between EV charging and hydrogen dispensing, but stated that EV charging will be the primary focus. The company asserted that hydrogen stations and access for light-duty vehicles to the sites would subsequently be installed.

Rendering of the proposed Greenlane charging and hydrogen fuelling website for Daimler vehicles.

Some charging and/or hydrogen stations will be co-located with existing infrastructure, while the majority will be designed from scratch. In addition, Daimler is establishing “a custom-made, industrial auto reservation system” for users.

Note that Mercedes-Benz introduced its own charging network for automobiles and light-duty trucks earlier this year. But since the separation of Mercedes Automobiles and Daimler Vans, these are entirely separate businesses.

Nevertheless, Daimler Trucks has already taken significant steps towards a vehicle charging network. With the formalisation of the Megawatt Charging Standard (MCS) previous year, it rolled out a single of the initial megawatt-capable charging stations with an MCS connector near to its North American headquarters in Portland.

Preparing the station for that level of charging served as a test run for what charging stations across the nation will need to do. If ten electric heavy-duty trucks were charging at one megawatt at a large truck charging station, the total load would be equivalent to that of a substantial industrial facility.

Illustration of the proposed Daimler Vehicles Greenlane charging and hydrogen fuelling website.

Tesla, on the other hand, is not anticipated to use the MCS connector, instead opting for its own V4 Supercharger standard. Tesla Semi production commenced in late 2022, but the company does not envision a large-scale public charging network comparable to the Supercharger network, which remains a trump card for Tesla’s passenger-vehicle business.

In 2020, utilities, businesses, and other stakeholders collaborated to create a West Coastline electrical motorway for commercial vehicles, so it will be intriguing to see if this work parallels or complements that initiative. Will electric truck drivers travelling through California, Oregon, and Washington soon have multiple charging options where there are currently none?