A new electric truck charging depot is powering up near California’s Port of Long Beach, but industry leaders say many more facilities will be needed to electrify goods movement.
Forum Mobility unveiled plans this week for a high-capacity charging hub slated to open in 2024 adjacent to the Long Beach Container Terminal. The 9-megawatt facility aims to juice over 200 battery-powered big rigs daily, providing a vital power source for fleets transitioning away from diesel.
Charging Gap Drives Infrastructure Push
Forum joins other startups rushing to install chargers near freight hubs, as demand forecasts indicate a vast gap between the number of electric trucks hitting roads and available charging ports.
The California Energy Commission projects the state must activate over 150,000 commercial chargers within this decade to enable proposed clean vehicle regulations. That translates to 53 new chargers daily through 2030.
Forum CEO Matt LeDucq stated that the predictability of this electric shift has sparked a high-stakes infrastructure race. “Those of us who have that charging capacity now are going to have a really good asset,” he commented.
Strategic Charging Network Takes Shape
Seeking to stake an early claim, Forum is constructing charging depots near key goods movement pinch points – including ports, highways, and distribution centers. The build-out aims to serve fleets of all sizes during the transition.
Though welcome, Forum’s Long Beach hub will only dent anticipated needs in the area, LeDucq acknowledged. “You need so much charging infrastructure. We’re doing a couple hundred trucks, hopefully a little bit more…What we’re doing now is a little drop in the bucket.”
Charging Commitments Secure Early Adopters
Nonetheless, the certainty of charging access is already attracting electric truck adopters.
Chino-based Talon Logistics has locked in port-adjacent charging for five incoming electric big rigs. “Our fleet will be one of the few able to charge right next to the terminal,” said Talon CEO Emmanuel Carrillo.
High-Power Hubs Target Speedy Charging
True to its name, Forum’s “FM Harbor” depot emphasizes rapid charging power. The facility will house 25 dual-port 360-kilowatt chargers able to simultaneously recharge 44 trucks.
With enough juice, an electric big rig could fully repower its battery in around 90 minutes. Within 10-20 months, Forum plans to enable concurrent charging for 600 trucks across its eight-hub network.
Alongside dedicated fleet agreements, Forum will also offer “truck-as-a-service” allowing pay-as-you-go charging access to interested drivers.
By leveraging their expertise and resources, Lading Logistics aims to provide efficient and reliable international shipping and logistics solutions for their clients.