Project FAQs

Project FAQs

Learn more about JETSI by exploring frequently asked questions posed by fleets planning their own electrification projects. In addition, explore the News section of the website, which provides articles covering specific topics in more depth.

Charging and Infrastructure

What are the truck charging strategies?

Both Schneider and NFI sites are equipped with chargers capable of restoring 80% of the vehicle’s battery capacity in 90 minutes. Charging is planned during super-off-peak and off-peak time-of-use periods as defined by the utility EV pricing plan. Both sites may limit overnight charging rate to manage electricity costs and grid impacts.

What duty cycles will the trucks be running, and how does that impact the charging schedule for the fleets?

As an example, NFI trucks will be used for drayage operations with two shifts. The trucks may complete two to four trips per day and between 240 and 480 daily miles. Opportunity charging will occur between shifts, or mid-shift during driver mealtimes, in addition to overnight charging. Trucks can charge between 175 kW to 350 kW depending on power sharing between BETs established at the EVSE cabinet and BET maximum charge rate.

How much power will the chargers draw at the charging depots?

As an example, NFI requested a load of 7.25 MW from utility. The utility main panel will be 500A. The system will be a 12kV, three-phase, three-wire system.

How do you plan power draw per truck during charging?

Southern California Edison (SCE) offers an EV Guidebook to help fleets plan charging infrastructure. At the start of project planning, evaluate duty cycles for the fleet, including route mileage, schedule of trips, dwell time at the depot, vehicle charge rate, and battery pack size. The team develops a charging plan which includes kW charging rate, duration, and time-of-day, and how many chargers to install. Mid-day opportunity charging typically utilizes ultra-fast chargers (300-plus kW).

Will the sites follow a fast charge or overnight charging model?

Both daytime fast charging and overnight charging will be performed. The Volvo VNR and eCascadia can both reach 80% state of charge in 90 minutes with fast charging. To achieve this, the VNR would need a 250kW charger and the eCascadia would need dual chargers providing a combined 270kW for this charging speed. The power share cabinets at this location will be adjusted based on fleet operational needs and incorporate fast charging and overnight charging solutions to ensure maximum charging efficiency and ability to meet required duty cycles.

Please detail the different technologies regarding sequential charging/parallel charging and what is best for the operations?

A single power cabinet may provide power to multiple dispensers. In this configuration, the dispensers may charge vehicles sequentially or in parallel. During sequential charging, the power cabinet supplies one dispenser at a time, providing the full power to the truck charging at that dispenser. In parallel charging, the power cabinet splits the available power between two or more dispensers or trucks.

Because EVs typically accept power at a lower rate as the battery nears full charge, parallel charging offers an operational advantage by allowing the power cabinet to send unused power capacity from one dispenser to another. However, parallel charging systems typically require more complex power electronics and may have somewhat higher purchase costs than sequential chargers.

Could you please share plans regarding wireless charging?

All chargers in the JETSI project utilize a plug-in connection with a cable, using CCS1 connectors. However, wireless charging will become an option for the industry as the technology advances. With wireless charging, there are no charger cables or hardware to run over or bump into. At a warehouse loading dock, wireless pads could be positioned where tractors will be parked as trailers are unloaded, without any poles blocking traffic. In 2022, wireless charge rates as high as 500 kW have been demonstrated, and the technology will continue to advance.

The Grid and Renewable Energy

What are ways you manage the load when grid capacity is constrained?

Ideally, charging will not be performed during peak demand hours, so planning for charging off-peak is important. On-site battery storage provides additional flexibility and resilience, and can reduce or eliminate need for utility power to help manage time-of-use loads.

Can the trucks be fully charged using solar panels?

At the NFI depot, 1 MW of solar directly powers charging of trucks, and any excess energy is used to charge the 5 kWh of on-site battery storage. Due to the duty cycle and rotation of trucks, there are often more trucks charging than can be powered by solar generation and battery, and often trucks are charging overnight, so utility power makes up the difference. 1 MW of solar can directly power five trucks charging at 200 kW, during peak sunlight hours. Adding batteries allows storing of solar energy, which can provide benefits, including resilience, peak shaving, avoiding peak time-of-use energy prices, and load reduction to lessen grid stress during weather or public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events.

Are there any regions or sites that will not be suitable for 10 – 20 MW of charging power for large fleets with heavy day and night usage?

Get in touch with the transportation electrification team at your electric utility. Their ability to support EV charging depots depends on many dynamic factors and they may be ready to support you or may be considering capacity upgrades relevant to your project. It can take 18 months or more to develop a charging plan and install charging infrastructure, so engaging your utility early and often is key to planning and success.

How are California utilities going to keep up with the power needs of the growing electric truck market?

California utilities continue to build more grid capacity to support increasing demand, and an increasing percentage of renewable power over the coming years will continue to reduce the carbon footprint of EVs as they charge. Electrical grid upgrades will be needed, and such projects can take time, so it is essential to talk to your utility early and often in the planning process to understand available capacity at your location and help the utility plan future capacity. Your feedback to your utility will help inform regionwide planning. There are interesting new innovations that will affect grid performance, such as V2G adoption, which will tap vehicle batteries to support the grid during peak demand hours. Many fleets are installing solar and storage as distributed energy resources.

How are fleets using battery storage and is it economical?

Fleets should conduct their own analysis of the economic benefits of battery storage to determine if it makes sense. Batteries can shift the time you draw utility power, to provide energy for truck charging during peak utility pricing and can use off-peak times to recharge at a lower price. In addition, batteries can peak shave to reduce maximum load on the utility grid when more trucks are charging. Batteries can also provide resilience in case of a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) event, and battery storage can capture energy from onsite solar generation. Check for incentives, grants, or tax credits that may be available to develop storage projects.

If a new substation is required, who pays for it?

If substation upgrades are needed, the utility typically pays for that from its capital improvement budget. However, it is best to check with your utility. Such upgrades have a long cycle for planning, approval, and construction. The utility may also provide relevant service upgrades to the fleet site, including transformer upgrades, under their fleet electrification programs.

Will there be charging infrastructure at the ports and distribution centers where these trucks call?  

The primary charging for these trucks will be at the NFI and Schneider facilities in Ontario and South El Monte, respectively, when the trucks return from their routes. Separate from JETSI, many companies are developing EV charging depots specifically to support HD trucks throughout California. More warehouses will be adding charging, and public charging facilities are being constructed near the Ports of LA and Long Beach and elsewhere.

What percentage of clean energy is available for vehicle charging?

Generally, every year, more clean energy is coming online to make battery-electric trucks increasingly environmentally friendly. The percentage of clean energy varies depending on several factors. Some states like California generate more than half of electricity from zero-emission sources, with that percentage moving ever higher, but some states are slower to build renewable generation. Time of day is a factor because utilities typically rely on more fossil fuel generation during peak load hours of 4-9 p.m. Onsite battery storage can also increase utilization of clean energy, if energy is stored during peak clean energy generation.

What policies should be examined to make it easier for utilities to build distribution or substation capacity early, ahead of the load, making it easier to hook up fleets who want to electrify?

Capital upgrades to substations can take years, so planning for grid upgrades ahead of the load is worth greater discussion on what policies would best enable more fleets to install charging infrastructure. There will likely be opportunities to provide comments to the California Public Utilities Commission and utility governing bodies in other states, so you might wish to monitor opportunities to provide input at hearings about capacity planning policies and projects. Your voice will help them understand the magnitude of truck charging load that will be added to the grid in the next few years through compliance with upcoming regulations such as CARB’s Advanced Clean Fleets or South Coast AQMD’s Indirect Source Regulations.

Vehicle Technology

What are the estimated vehicle efficiency ratings?

Vehicle efficiency (kWh/mile) will vary greatly depending on load, driver behavior, environmental conditions, and other factors. A recent demonstration of Class 8 battery-electric tractors with NFI in Southern California resulted in an average efficiency of about 2.1 kWh/mile.

Do different battery technologies impact planning?

Battery technologies are less important than vehicle charging rate and total battery pack size, which determines how many hours of charging will be required at a given charge rate. Please note charging slows as batteries near 80% rate of charge and higher.

What are the specific project intersections with equity/priority communities?

JETSI prioritizes air-quality improvements for disadvantaged communities as defined by AB 617 and SB 535. All project partners place a very high priority on equity related to air quality, collaboratively working to improve air quality and GHG reductions in disadvantaged communities. Read more about this on the Funding Partners page (e.g. see California Climate Investments funding), Environmental Benefits page, and Route Map page of this website.

What extreme temps (ambient and/or operating temps) significantly affect range performance?

EVs are designed with thermal management systems to keep battery packs at a specific temperature range and optimize performance (sometimes referred to as preconditioning) as needed. Ask your OEM for details.

How are you applying V2G in your fleet deployments?

At present, JETSI doesn’t include vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration, but this may be included in the future. One of the primary benefits of V2G is grid support during the peak demand period (4-9 p.m. in California) but HD trucks are often returning to base with low charge levels at that time, so they may not have remaining battery capacity to support the grid. If you are considering purchasing V2G capable chargers, you can consider your duty cycles and the likely battery state of charge at times when the utility company needs grid support, as well as potential revenue if there are utility programs that reward grid support.

What are the plans to handle maintenance of fleets and what will happen to the batteries at end-of-life or if there are repairs?

NFI and Schneider both have EV maintenance plans through the OEMs, which was included in the purchase price. Standard preventative maintenance activities that fleets already perform on their current vehicles can be done by each fleet. Maintenance services that interact with the vehicle’s high voltage systems will be performed by local, qualified dealerships affiliated with the OEMs.

Any mid-life battery replacements will be handled by dealers, including disposal of the battery if required. When batteries are due for replacement, options for recycling or second life battery applications will be more broadly available.

How do you anticipate batteries handling hotel load for over-the-road (OTR) drivers?

Basic cabin amenities, including TV, heating, and cooling, draw a tiny amount of energy in comparison to the drivetrain motors on a truck, so the battery pack can support that hotel load. The broader question is when will there be more nationwide charging infrastructure and greater vehicle range to make OTR routes feasible for battery-electric trucks? JETSI is focused on regional routes which are more suitable for BETs due to range, with present OEM truck offerings. Over time, more interstate freight corridors will see construction of HD charging depots to support OTR long-haul routes. As HD charging depots proliferate that will offer an overnight charging opportunity, which would make the hotel load a moot point.

Costs / Funding

How are these projects being financed?

JETSI is being financed by grants from CARB, CEC, MSRC, South Coast AQMD, SCE, and Ports of LA and Long Beach, as well as capital outlays by the two fleet operators. See the Project Partners page of this website for full details.

What is the life cycle cost analysis for fleets?

Vehicle total cost of ownership (TCO) includes a range of capital and operating costs for infrastructure and energy supply. Data on these costs will be collected during the project period and used to calculate observed TCOs and will be reported on this website as it becomes available.

Are there options for fleet electrification without the upfront capital expense?

There are several ways to reduce upfront costs of charging infrastructure. Funding is available from public agencies via grant applications, and your electric utility may have infrastructure incentives and charger hardware rebates. Also, there are various third-party companies in the business of building HD EV charging infrastructure for fleet customers which can be offered “as a service,” whereby the fleet only pays monthly use fees and can avoid the capital investment and complexities of design and construction. Some of these companies provide vehicles and charging depots in select urban locations.

What pricing plan is appropriate for EV charging?

Both fleets have selected the following Southern California Edison (SCE) pricing plan: TOU-EV9


What are the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) requirements for this scale of charging?

EVITP pertains to training and certification for electricians installing EVSE. The EVSE that will be installed are supplied by 480V three-phase power. EVITP’s current training curriculum (version 4.0) has covered EVSE installation for MD and HD vehicles with power supplies up to 600 VAC since 2019.