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Long-haul trucking meets megawatt-scale charging

A multiport design allows a utility to easily interface with an EV truck stop to provide fast charging at megawatt scale. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy


Transitioning long-haul trucks from diesel to electric power will require convenient ways to rapidly recharge electric vehicle batteries at power-plant scale. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed architecture, software and control strategies for a futuristic EV truck stop that can draw megawatts of power and reduce carbon emissions.

The station’s design uses solar arrays and batteries, which generate and store enough power to handle the unpredictable load swings from recharging these large power plants on wheels. The software manages the system to draw a steady, predictable flow of power from the grid. The team fine-tuned the complex control hierarchy using real-time simulation, then verified those results with electronics in the lab.

“The next phase is looking at how to coordinate multiple stations in a network along the interstate,” said ORNL’s Radha Krishna Moorthy. Paired with advances in low- and zero-carbon fuels, electrification can help reduce the trucking industry’s carbon footprint.