Tesla Seeks $100M for U.S. Electric Semi-Truck Charging Route

Bloomberg semi tesla

Tesla revealed plans to build nine electric semi-truck charging stations, creating an uninterrupted route from southern Texas to northern California. To finance this ambitious project, the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer is seeking nearly $100 million from the U.S. government.

According to emails reviewed by Bloomberg, Tesla aims to equip each station with eight 750-kilowatt chargers for Tesla Semi vehicles and an additional four chargers for competitors’ trucks. The exchanges took place between May and early July and involved Tesla executives and the Texas Department of Transportation.

If approved, this would be the first charging network of its kind in the U.S. designed specifically for electric semi-trucks. It would pioneer long-haul electrified trucking from Texas to California, and encourage regional-haul trucking in Texas, Arizona, and California. The initiative is significant as the U.S., heavily reliant on commercial trucks for freight transport, struggles to curb the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Tesla executives suggested to Texas officials that the project could be eligible for federal grants, part of a bipartisan infrastructure program aimed at modernizing U.S. transit systems. As part of its funding application, submitted in June, Tesla requested state officials to endorse the project with a supporting letter.

The Federal Highway Administration, responsible for overseeing the grants, said they are “currently reviewing applications,” with the announcement of recipients expected later this year.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District in California spearheaded the application on behalf of Austin-based Tesla. Aaron Katzenstein, an executive at the office’s technology advancement unit, revealed that Tesla is seeking $97 million of federal funding, planning to contribute $24 million from its own resources. However, it remains unclear if Tesla will continue with the project without grant approval.

The proposed 1,800-mile route commences in Laredo, Texas, approximately 240 miles from Tesla’s Austin headquarters and 150 miles from its upcoming factory in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Notably, Tesla was granted an exclusive lane at the border crossing in 2022 to transport parts from Mexican suppliers to its U.S. factories.

Tesla introduced its electric Semi prototype in 2017 but has faced challenges in bringing it to market. The first 15 trucks were delivered to PepsiCo Inc. late last year and the company has yet to scale to mass production.

You can check out a video of Tesla’s Semi chargers below by Out of Spec Reviews:

YouTube video