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Federal funds for Air District go to truck charging network

The Valley Air District was awarded $56,008,096 in funding from the highly competitive Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Program to develop high-power electric vehicle charging stations at key locations along the national freight network within the San Joaquin Valley. This award is the highest in California and is the third largest grant awarded in the entire nation. This influx of infrastructure funding is critical to support the ongoing effort to transition the heavy-duty transportation and goods movement sector in California to zero-emission and improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley.

With this funding award, the District will be partnering with WattEV to build two state-of-the-art truck charging sites along the Interstate 5 (I-5) corridor within the San Joaquin Valley. WattEV is an industry leader in supporting heavy-duty fleet transition to zero-emissions, and has a proven track record of accelerating the transition to zero-emission transportation through the development of several public heavy-duty vehicle charging sites in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

Funding from this grant will support the construction of two charging stations along the I-5 corridor in Taft, Kern County, and Gustine in Merced County. The I-5 corridor is recognized as one of the nation’s busiest freight corridors connecting Southern California to Northern California and beyond. Both sites will offer a variety of publicly-accessible high-powered charging options for both heavy-duty vehicles as well as passenger vehicles. In addition, the sites will offer amenities for travelers such as public bathrooms, a rest area and free parking. Both sites will include a collective 63 acres of solar panels and 5.5 MW of battery electric storage systems to provide grid stability.

“We’re proud to be leading the build-out of the West Coast’s ‘electric highway’ from San Diego to Seattle, and the San Joaquin Valley is a critical link in the network,” said WattEV CEO Salim Youssefzadeh. “We’re delighted to be in partnership with the Valley Air District on these projects in Taft and Gustine. The District’s far-sighted leadership in the mission of transitioning our commercial freight sector to zero-emission technology is essential. We truly appreciate it, and look forward to continuing our work together.”

Mobile sources account for the single largest source of ozone and PM2.5 forming NOx, toxic diesel particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions in the Valley. Reducing emissions from these mobile sources, including both heavy-duty and light duty vehicles, is a critical component of the District’s overall strategy to attain stringent health-based federal air quality standards. With 45 percent of the truck traffic in California occurring in the San Joaquin Valley, projects such as these are critical in improving air quality in the region.

“We appreciate the leadership of WattEV, and strong support of the Federal Highway Administration, in helping to move forward nation-leading efforts to deploy the next generation of zero-emissions freight infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley,” stated Samir Sheikh, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer for the Valley Air District. “This funding award is a significant milestone for the region and state as a whole, and is a testament to the Valley Air District’s commitment to reducing air pollution, improving public health, and supporting the Valley’s economy.”

The Valley Air District covers eight counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern. For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit or call 559-230-6000.