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Early Tesla Semi Buyers Will Build Their Own Charging Stations

February 3, 2018, 7:37 PM UTC

Some early buyers of Tesla’s electric Semi freight truck will collaborate with the automaker to build their own charging stations, according to a new report.

Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, and United Parcel Service will build private charging stations on their own sites, Reuters reported Friday, in partnerships with Tesla whose terms are still being negotiated.

Though details are still scarce, the arrangements seem to make imminent sense from Tesla’s perspective. The Semi, announced in November of last year, will have different charging needs than Tesla’s cars, both in terms of power and space. That means the company needs a new, parallel charging network to service them. But it’s facing down a cash crunch, making this a bad time to commit to a nationwide or even regional network buildout.

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But many of the Semi’s early adopters are short-haul operators, and told Reuters they will use the Semi to deliver loads along shorter, likely relatively fixed routes. That makes the commitment to building their own infrastructure sensible – especially since some of the companies also said they might consider opening the facilities to other users in the future. That could make these ‘private’ stations anchors in the network of “Megachargers” Tesla will need to build to make its truck viable for smaller customers and over longer distances.

Tesla has said Semi deliveries will begin in late 2019.