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Daimler plans to begin producing electric semi-trucks in Portland in late 2022.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA  - Heavy duty electric vehicles at the new Electric Island charging station on Swan Island. The include eCascadia and eM2 trucks made by Daimler.Daimler Trucks North America and Portland General Electric have opened the first-of-its-kind heavy-duty electric truck charging site in the heart of Portland's Swan Island industrial district. The new charging center, called "Electric Island," is available to the public and is designed to help accelerate the development, testing and deployment of electric commercial vehicles, like the ones to be manufactured in Portland by Daimler's Freightliner brand.

"The future of transportation is electric," Maria Pope, President and CEO of PGE, said at the April 21 opening. "We're envisioning a better future for the next generation, and it's going to take all of us to work together. We're also coming together to create opportunities for additional jobs across Oregon and across the West."

COURTESY PHOTO: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA  - An aerial view of the new Electric Island charging stations at Swan Island.

Electric Island is located at 4717 N. Lagoon Ave. on Swan Island, with eight DC Fast Charging stations representing a variety of subscription networks and plug formats. The charging center is available for personal vehicle charging, as well as to electric commercial trucks.

"We're providing a benefit to local EV drivers as well as those traveling up and down Interstate 5," John O'Leary, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, said at the opening. "Together with PGE, we've installed the first purpose-built public station anywhere in the nation intentionally designed for the recharge of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles."

Located less than one mile from I-5, Electric Island represents the first location specifically designed for medium- and heavy-duty trucks aligned to the blueprint of the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative. The 2020 collaboration between nine electric utilities and two government agencies yielded a strategic plan to electrify 1,300 miles of I-5 across the three West Coast states to provide publicly available charging for freight and delivery trucks.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Maria Pope, President and CEO of PGE, charging a Dailmer electric truck at Electric Isalnd.

Daimler plans to begin production of the eCascadia semi-truck in late 2022, and the eM2 box truck about six months later in 2023. With a range of 230-250 miles on a charge, both models are designed for urban and regional use, rather than cross-country applications.

Five Megawatts of power

"We are bringing five megawatts of power onto the Electric Island site from the grid," Nate Hill, head of charging infrastructure for Daimler, explained at the opening. "We don't have that level of use yet, but that's what the site is capable of supporting. We will have both 400-Volt and 800-Volt charging here, and some of the units will go to 1,000 volts. Currently the highest power unit we have installed here is 150 Kilowatts, but it can go up to 350 kilowatts."

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - John O'Leary, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, holds a charging cable and plug at the April 21 opening of Electric Island.

This level of charging capability will be necessary to recharge the larger battery packs that are planned to power Daimler's new line of Class 6/7 and Class 8 semi-trucks that will be produced here in Portland.

"At Daimler Trucks, we're deeply committed to leading the delivery of battery electric commercial vehicle solutions. While this EV ecosystem is new to us, for 135 years we've led our industry through innovation as well as collaboration and cooperation. We have the same blueprint in mind as we navigate our path forward to our goal of selling exclusively CO2-neutral vehicles by 2039. Right here in Portland, we're preparing our truck manufacturing plant just down the road for the start of manufacturing of the eCascadia and eM2."


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