Pilot Teams Up With Volvo on Electric Truck Charging Network

Chargers will be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers well-equipped for professional drivers.

November 17, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Pilot Company and Volvo Group have partnered to build a charging network for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks. The project will provide an electromobility solution for all battery-electric Class 8 truck brands.

"Pilot Company is eager to help our customers attain their sustainability goals by partnering with the Volvo Group to develop the infrastructure and systems needed to move towards a more decarbonized future," said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company. "Volvo Group's proven expertise in electric trucks combined with our nationwide travel center network and robust energy platform leverages our respective knowledge and resources to advance the nation's charging infrastructure. We look forward to working together to develop a holistic solution for electrified fleets, further enabling the transportation industry's energy transition."

Pilot says both companies are committed to overcoming infrastructure roadblocks in support of medium- and heavy-duty truck electrification. The partnership will utilize public funds from federal, state and local agencies to accelerate the development of the charging network.

"As we work to build a more sustainable, decarbonized transport system, our team firmly believes that partnership is the new leadership. We look forward to working side by side with Pilot Company and combining our unique industry insights, expertise and resources to develop a comprehensive, nationwide charging network," said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. "Our VNR Electric customers, as well as other fleets looking to adopt battery-electric trucks, will have peace of mind that they can access a reliable and robust, publicly accessible charging network strategically located along major transportation corridors, enabling them to extend their operating radius and decarbonize even more of their routes."

Chargers will be located at select Pilot and Flying J travel centers, specifically those that are positioned along transportation corridors and that are well-equipped to serve professional drivers. Customer needs, current and anticipated battery-electric truck density and the availability of public funding to support infrastructure costs are all factors the companies will consider as they build out the network.

Earlier this year, Pilot Company launched its $1 billion New Horizons initiative to upgrade and prepare its locations for the future of travel and further enable the development of charging networks for both passenger vehicles and Class 8 trucks.

"Partnerships like this one are important for Mack, our industry and for society as a whole," said Martin Weissburg, president of Mack Trucks and chairman of Volvo Group North America. "Mack and the Volvo Group are committed to being leaders in the transition to zero-emission transportation, and accelerating the availability of publicly accessible charging is crucial to achieving the decarbonized, sustainable future we're dedicated to helping bring about."

During the summer, Pilot Company announced it is partnering with General Motors on a national DC fast-charging network that will be installed, operated and maintained by EVgo through its eXtend offering. The network of 2,000 charging stalls will be co-branded "Pilot Flying J" and "Ultium Charge 360" and will be open to all EV brands at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers.

The company also announced a strategic partnership with Kodiak Robotics Inc., a self-driving trucking company, to develop autonomous truck services at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.

The NACS EV Charging Calculator allows retailers to assess the cost and profitability of offering EV chargers at their sites. The calculator focuses on what retailer utility costs associated with EV recharging are and what the corresponding revenue must be to recover those costs after allowing for potential ancillary in-store visits and purchase profitability.

Read more about electricity demand charges and what they mean for retailers’ ability to turn a profit from EV charging in the September issue of NACS Magazine.