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EV Charging Truck Stops: Electrifying Upgrades Coming!

EV Charging Truck Stops: Electrifying Upgrades Coming!

As the world moves toward more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives in many facets of living, electric vehicles (EVs) have been a game-changer in the effort to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. One development we’re starting to see as a result is the emergence of EV charging at truck stops.

EV charging stations at truck stops are designed to meet the needs of long-haul electric trucks. But they’re also attractive to EV motorists of all kinds, including RVers.

In this post, we’re covering EV charging truck stops and how they’re expanding the EV charging infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles. We’ll tell you which well-known truckstops have already committed to expanding access to EV charging stations at locations along major highways. We’ll also look at several locations with expansive amenities for everyone from truck drivers to RVers to commuters to families on road trips, (in addition to the impact they’ll have on the transportation industry and the environment).

What Are EV Charging Truck Stops?

EV charging truck stops are designed to cater to the needs of long-haul electric trucks.

The long-haul trucking industry has relied on diesel-powered engines for ages. But recently, a shift towards electrification has been growing, driven by an overall reduction in ongoing costs, lower tailpipe emissions, and quieter operation. Companies like Tesla, Rivian, and Nikola are revolutionizing the industry as they inspire the development of electric semi-trucks.

As there are more and more electric trucks in the commercial transportation sector and demand continues to grow, there’s an increasing need for a more extensive charging infrastructure, especially along major highways.

EV charging truck stops provide a wide range of services. They include high-capacity charging stations, shopping and dining facilities, rest areas for drivers and pets, and other amenities similar to traditional truckstops.

Over the years, truck stops have evolved from high-scale gas stations to very large locations with expansive amenities. They now cater to all types of travelers and include features such as dog parks, playgrounds, and even areas dedicated to RVers who need a place to stop overnight. (For more information, see our post on Loves RV hookups.)

Tractor trailer trucks parked at a truck stop

Truckstops have evolved over the years from simple fueling stations to travel centers complete with multiple dining options, stores, restrooms & showers, and more. Their expansive amenities are attractive to almost every motorist.

What differentiates EV charging truck stops is the addition of DC fast-charging networks that are installed, operated, and maintained by the truck stop.

How Do EV Truck Stops Benefit RVers?

Depending on the types of chargers available, RVers can benefit from EV charging truck stops in a variety of ways.

In addition to being able to charge an electric RV, motorhome owners who tow an electric car could charge their toads, and RVers who pull a travel trailer with an electric truck could charge that, too. (For more, see our post on electric vehicle towing capacity.)

There are also ongoing developments in the RV industry around the electrification of RVs.

For example, BrightDrop, General Motors’ commercial electric vehicle startup that has worked with Walmart and FedEx to introduce zero-emission electric vans to reduce emissions from commercial fleets with long-range EVs, has also been working with RollAway to create a sustainable luxury hotel experience on wheels.

A RollAway luxury van

RollAway vans are marketed as luxury hotel rooms on wheels with 5-star services and amenities.

The rentable vans have a 250-mile range and fast charging capabilities and have officially launched in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more details, see RollAway’s website.

So, EV charging truck stops hold a lot of promise not only for the commercial trucking industry but for the RV and travel industries as a whole.

Following are some key features of many EV charging truck stops:

  • High-capacity charging stations
  • Strategic locations
  • Expansive driver amenities
  • Maintenance & repair services

What Major Truck Stops Have Plans to Integrate EV Charging?

Let’s take a look at three of the major truck stops/travel centers to see which currently offer, or have plans to offer, EV charging with DC fast chargers.

Loves Truck Stop EV Charging

Love’s Travel Stops is a nationwide chain of travel plazas serving heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles. Love’s began adding electric vehicle charging to its offerings at several locations in 2020. These feature DC fast chargers for EVs as part of the Trillium Energy Solutions network.

Electrify America, the largest open direct current (DC) fast-charging network in the U.S., is working with Love’s Travel Stops to bring public ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations to multiple locations in several U.S. states. Drivers can pay for charging via the network app on their phones, at the charger, or inside a Love’s Travel stop store.

Like most travel plazas, Love’s offers dining options, snacks, gourmet coffees, and other goods, plus dog parks, showers, laundry facilities, and more. This means that when you pull off the road and need to charge your rig or vehicle for an hour, you’ll have multiple options for what to do while you wait.

A pup carrying a ball in a grassy area

At some travel centers, you can play fetch with Fido in a dog park while your EV charges.

Pilot Flying J Truck Stop EV Charging

Pilot Flying J has invested in an EV charging network of state-of-the-art 350kW fast chargers at many locations throughout their widespread service area of truck stops and travel centers.

Pilot Flying J says they’re changing the game when it comes to long-distance EV driving with their expertise in highway travel combined with General Motor’s advanced Ultium electric vehicle battery technology, and EVgo’s extensive knowledge of charging networks and stations.

Every month Pilot Flying J adds their 350kW fast chargers to new locations increasing their ever-broadening EV network.

Many Pilot Truck Stop EV charging locations have well-lit covered canopy stations and, like other major travel centers, they’re open 24/7, so you can stop to charge anytime.

TravelCenters of America EV Charging / Petro Truck Stop EV Charging

Plans for Travel Centers of America EV charging and Petro Truck Stop EV charging have expanded considerably. TravelCenters of America Inc. has partnered with Electrify America to offer electric vehicle charging at select TA Travel Centers/Petro Truck Stop locations. (Electrify America is the largest open DC fast-charging network in the United States.)

The first stations to offer TA EV charging appeared in 2023, with a goal of roughly 1,000 individual chargers at 200 locations along major highways over five years as the current goal. TravelCenters of America is purchasing Electrify America’s DC fast chargers, and Electrify America is installing, operating, and maintaining the charging stations at TA/Petro locations. They’ll be open to almost all brands of EV vehicles, delivering up to 350 kW to capable vehicles.

With all these upgrades rolling out, ease of ownership for EV owners of all sorts only continues to improve.

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