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First solar-powered electric truck stop opens in Bakersfield

First solar-powered electric truck stop opens in Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Watt EV opened the nation’s first solar-powered electric truck stop in Bakersfield on Monday as California works to continue reducing emissions in the Central Valley.

  • Video shows inauguration of country’s first solar-powered electric truck stop
  • He tells me the $25 million project was partially funded by two California Energy Commission grants covering about $5 million.
  • This hopes to combat air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, Bakersfield ranks first in the nation for year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution and third for ozone pollution.

Stopping at a truck stop can be a chance to refuel and rest for many truck drivers.

Truckers can now take a break at the world’s only solar-powered electric truck stop, says Watt EV.

“Depending on the truck stops, there’s probably a line to fill,” Alex Gomez, truck driver at Watt EV.

Bakersfield Neighborhood News reporter Dominique Lavigne interviews Alex Gomez, truck driver for Watt EV.  Gomez says the change makes his job easier.

23ABC

Bakersfield Neighborhood News reporter Dominique Lavigne interviews Alex Gomez, truck driver for Watt EV. Gomez says the change makes his job easier.

Gomez says that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, electric semi-trailers make his job easier in and out of the truck.

“You mentioned you could go home every night. What’s it like?’” asked 23ABC’s Dominique LaVigne.

“For me, it’s very important because my kids are still young, so I can go home every night instead of sleeping in the truck or going out of state 6 to 7 days a week,” Gomez said .

He tells me the trucks travel 200 miles on each full charge and adds that the company bases its routes on available charging stations.

Watt EV opened the third and largest stop in Bakersfield, off Highway 65.

“We want to make sure that we remove every possible excuse to make sure that infrastructure is not the problem,” Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of Watt EV.

Dominique interviews Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of Watt EV

23ABC

Dominique interviews Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of Watt EV

He tells me the $25 million project was partially funded by two California Energy Commission grants covering about $5 million.

“As you know, the San Joaquin Valley is known for having the worst emissions in California, and finding a way to do something about that is crucial,” he said.

According to the American Lung Association, Bakersfield ranks first in the nation for year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution and third for ozone pollution.

“Right here in Bakersfield, in the San Joaquin area, and home to some of the most challenging air quality issues in the county,” said Samir Sheikh, executive director and chief pollution control officer for the air from the San Joaquin Valley Air District.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for about 29% of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide.

“Heavy road transport is the largest source of ozone and nitrogen oxide-forming particulate emissions,” Sheikh said.

Watt EV and truckers like Gomez hope to change that for future generations.

“These are all electric,” he said. “There’s no pollution and all that. Clean air…that’s what this company is built on and what they’re working towards.


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