Warren Buffet Buys Pilot Truck Stops and Will Electrify Them

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway paid $8.2 billion to acquire Pilot Travel Centers in January. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway quietly acquired $1 billion in January and promises to boost its exposure to the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.

Renowned Investor’s Group bought 41.4% of Pilot Travel Centers on January 31 for approximately $8.2 billion. The transaction boosts Berkshire’s ownership of the business to 80% since it originally bought a 38.6% stake in 2017.

Pilot is the largest operator of travel centers in North America with more than 650 locations.

Truck-Stop Group grew its revenue from $20 billion in 2017 to $45 billion in 2021, and now generates more than $1 billion in annual pre-tax earnings.

Pilot last year partnered with General Motors to set up a national network of 2,000 EV charging stations by 2026. It also intends to work with Volvo to develop a similar network for battery-powered trucks.

Bloomberg magazine had an article in November, 2022 that electric truck stops will need as much power as a small town. “Think of electricity like water flowing through a hose. You could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with a garden hose if you had a few months, but filling it in a few hours would require a firehose. In the world of electric vehicles, an 18-wheeler is like a swimming pool—and the connections available at today’s highway stops are akin to garden hoses,” Randall wrote.

Electrifying a typical highway gas station will require as much electricity as a sports stadium.

Sysco Corp. plans to convert a third of its fleet to electric trucks.

Pilot and Kodiak Robotics have a strategic agreement to develop services for self-driving trucks at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.

The first such autonomous truckport is being built at a Pilot center near Atlanta, Ga. where the companies will evaluate what services make the most sense for self-driving trucks. Pilot vice president of strategy and business development John Tully imagined autonomous truckports wouldn’t look much different than the rest of the companies locations

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