Somewhere in a Venn diagram that includes Turkish bath houses, refugee camps, and outdoor music festivals exists the American truck stop. In concept and execution, it’s a business model that has endured for decades – but the coming wave of electric semi trucks will present different challenges than a gas pump and shower, and challenge presents opportunity.
Cyclum Renewables plans to construct a nationwide network of “renewable fuel truck stops” to cater to the growing number of Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, and (one assumes, eventually) Nikola and Tesla semi trucks that will soon hit US highways. And the company plans to “top up” those new-era ZEV trucks with energy generated by “renewable natural gas.”
The company says its “renewable natural gas” (RNG) is sourced from dairy and swine waste, food processing byproducts, and agricultural crops. Its partners process these materials to what it claims is “carbon negative” natural gas, which can be used directly as fuel in CNG applications, or easily converted into electricity or hydrogen by powering gas generators.
Beyond fueling, Cyclum promises to enhance the traditional diner/convenience store vibe of a Love’s or Flying J with new features that speak to the added dwell time that’s expected to follow electric truck adoption. “Cyclum knows that some renewable fueling choices will lead to additional time spent at the station,” reads the company website. “We aim to provide our clients with a state-of-the-art facility, allowing for rest and relaxation. Enjoy a meal in the Cyclum Lounge, or practice your putting on our green!”
I’ll have to ask the Old school trucking guys if any of them carry a set of golf clubs in their sleeper cabs. Maybe they’ll start!
The “green truck stop” startup is currently locating sites for its first phase of green trucking stations, specifically targeting the I-5 corridor spanning from San Diego, CA, to Vancouver, BC. Special attention will be paid to major ports along this interstate, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver. In its home state of North Carolina, Cyclum will focus on major trucking thoroughfares surrounding the Charlotte metro area, including I-85, I-77, and I-95.