• Business Business

Tesla makes move to continue plan for first-of-its-kind charging infrastructure for electric semis — though new layoffs leave project in doubt

"If any OEM can do it solo, it is Tesla."

"If any OEM can do it solo, it is Tesla."

Photo Credit: Tesla

Even though Tesla wasn't selected to receive federal funding to build a first-of-its-kind electric semi truck charging corridor, it's reportedly still proceeding with its plan.

According to TechCrunch, the big rig charging network would include nine charging stations along the route between Laredo, Texas, and Fremont, California. Though since that news, on May 1 Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid off the entire Supercharger team responsible for its wider public EV charging network, according to multiple reports, leaving the plan back in some doubt. The company has not commented on whether the layoffs affect this plan.

The 1,800-mile route would conveniently connect Tesla's two North American vehicle manufacturing locations and another slated to open in Mexico. 

The outlet reported that each station could provide eight 750-kilowatt chargers for Tesla Semis and four additional chargers available for other electric trucks. As Teslarati explained, the Tesla Semi Megacharger network would allow the trucks to haul items much farther than their 500-mile range. 

However, according to an announcement by the Biden administration, Tesla wasn't among the winners chosen to receive $623 million in grants to help expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made the grants available, providing funding for infrastructure and clean energy projects. Per TechCrunch, Tesla had requested nearly $100 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant program to build its charging network and planned to chip in $24 million of its own funds.

Rohan Patel, Tesla's former vice president, told TechCrunch that Tesla may seek state funding or apply for future CFI grants to accomplish the project. 

As for the Semis, Tesla announced that it aimed to reach high-volume production of its big rigs in late 2025, according to Electrek. The outlet reported that the company had only built about 70 Semis as of October of 2023 but expanded its Gigafactory Nevada to ramp up production of the trucks.

If Tesla's electric semi charging corridor is completed, it would help reduce pollution from the trucking industry and provide charging access for both long-haul and regional electric trucks, per TechCrunch.

However, while Tesla's Semi Megacharging route appears to be in limbo, its Supercharger network with over 50,000 chargers worldwide is making it easier for people to switch to an electric vehicle, which gives owners huge savings on gas and maintenance and reduces their pollution footprint as well. 

"If any OEM can do it solo, it is Tesla. Just like they installed [chargers] for passenger vehicles, I also believe we will see this route and others come to life very soon," Jake Guerra, the CEO of an all-electric semi-truck company with Teslas as part of its fleet, said on LinkedIn.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider