Blink starts Volvo Trucks charger rollout

The US charging firm has only just been selected as a partner by the truck maker

Blink starts Volvo Trucks charger rollout
Incharge has also been chosen as a Volvo and Mack partner

Miami Beach, FL-headquartered charging firm Blink has begun deploying workplace chargers at multiple facilities across the US owned by truckmakers Mack and its parent Volvo, just days after being selected as one of the OEMs’ full-service EV infrastructure providers.

The truckmakers now have four partnerships with charging infrastructure development companies as part of its so-called Turnkey Solutions programme, having also added Incharge Energy earlier this month.     

The programme is an end-to-end fleet management service for all aspects of developing charging infrastructure, including charging hardware and software, site design, obtaining permits, installation, utility coordination and charging equipment maintenance.

“Mack Trucks is focused on simplifying the transition to BEV for our customers to help increase the adoption rate of sustainable transportation,” says Jonathan Randall, president of Mack Trucks North America. “We have our own team dedicated to e-mobility solutions, and through the Turnkey Solutions programme, we have established a holistic programme to support the charging needs of our customers.”

Mack feels that customers interested in transitioning to EV can find it “overwhelming” to plan for and implement charging infrastructure. Through the Turnkey Solutions programme, these customers can choose — from Blink, Incharge, Gilbarco Veeder-Root or Heliox — which partner to bundle charging hardware and services with the purchase of their vehicle.

“Identifying sources for charging infrastructure can be an overwhelming task for fleet managers, so now all aspects of EV charging are covered through the Turnkey Solutions programme,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.

“We simplified the process for customers, allowing them to easily turn to our solution-oriented vendor partners who understand key aspects of the EV charging industry. This makes the electromobility transition easier for fleet managers, allowing them to focus on their daily business operations while a dedicated team solves their infrastructure installation and energisation.”

Two options

Mack has two electric trucks offerings — the Mack LR Electric and the Mack MD Electric. The former went into production in December 2021, while the latter launched in March this year.

The latest Mack LR Electric model offers 42pc more energy and a standard 376kWh total battery capacity for increased range between charges, Mack says. It also boasts two-stage regenerative braking system to help recapture energy from stops the vehicle makes.

The MD Electric complements a diesel-powered MD sibling, introduced in 2020. Like its diesel counterpart, it is available in Class 6 and Class 7 ratings.

The Class 6 has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 25,995lb, and the Class 7 model has a GVWR of 33,000lb. It aims to meet the needs of trucking applications requiring dry van/refrigerated, stake/flatbed and dump vocations.

“Our charging partnerships and the Turnkey Solutions programme as a whole will enable customers to more easily manage the development and installation of infrastructure for the Mack MD Electric and Mack LR Electric vehicles,” says Ryan Saba, Mack energy solutions manager.

“These strategic partnerships will provide customers with the support they require throughout the entire process, including charger uptime. This is a key differentiator for Mack since charging infrastructure continues to be one of the main barriers to adoption.”

“We applaud the efforts of Mack for their forward-thinking in advancing fleet electrification, and we are excited to be selected as a charging partner in their Turnkey Solutions programme, providing reliable and advanced charging solutions,” says Jim Nemec, chief revenue officer at Blink. His firm boasts that its advanced EV charging products provide dedicated expertise to help accurately assess particular fleet needs to optimise infrastructure services and provide end-to-end software solutions.

“Building a dependable charging infrastructure is vital in keeping electric fleets operational and on the road. We look forward to continuing to work with Mack as they move to bring e-mobility to fleets around the country,” Nemec continues.

“We look forward to powering the MD Electric and the Mack LR Electric vehicles for Mack customers,” says Steve Kelley, chief commercial officer at Incharge. “Our partnership with Mack ensures that the expanding population of electrified fleets will have guaranteed availability for the most seamless transition to more sustainable transportation.”

Incharge has also been added to the Volvo Trucks Vendor Direct Shipping programme, a complementary option to the Turnkey Solutions programme, designed to simplify electrification for its fleet customers.

““Being selected as a full-service partner for the Volvo Trucks Turnkey Solutions programme, we can accelerate fleet electrification as we deliver scalable hardware, software, and service solutions for fleets of two trucks to 5,000 vehicles, and Volvo Trucks’ Vendor Direct Shipping programme makes it easier for fleets to get their new EV trucks on the road,” says Terry O’Day, chief operating officer at Incharge.

“The programmes and companies complement each other and make the transition to electric charging infrastructure simpler for fleets.”

His firm lauds its vertically integrated service provider model, backed up with with a robust service team, to manage every aspect of a fleet’s EV charging infrastructure in-house — “guaranteeing quicker deployment and greater uptime and reliability compared to other providers”, Incharge promises.

The company also boasts of its deeply experienced team, premium hardware options and fleet-focused InControl charge management software, which it says “offers fleet customers an incredibly valuable one-stop shop for EV charging — both at the time of initial electrification and as an ongoing partner, offering scalable solutions that support future EV fleet expansion”.

It also points to “significant experience executing large-scale electrification projects for fleets deploying Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 tractors”.

“With the growing population of Class 8 battery-electric trucks on the road today, Volvo Trucks represents a significant partner for Incharge Energy,” says Kelley.

“The collaboration includes Incharge’s detailed interoperability testing and engineering to improve charger-vehicle compatibility and to provide an optimal customer experience. We look forward to providing Volvo Trucks’ fleet customers with our signature white-glove service.”

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