Daimler Trucks North America has delivered the first of its Class 8 Freightliner electric eCascadia trucks in the past week at the the beginning of what Daimler and others in the industry expect to be a long transition to electric trucking.
The deliveries of the electric version of the nation’s best-selling heavy-duty truck mark were made to Penske Truck Leasing and major carrier NFI, with each company taking delivery of one of the eCascadias into their fleets. Daimler expects it will deliver a combined 18 more trucks to the companies in the coming months.
Penske and NFI will use the vehicles to test the integration of battery-electric trucks into their large-scale fleet operations.
The companies are working in partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Southern California to improve air quality in the region. The agency is providing a $US16 million grant to partially fund the program.
“We hope to see large scale deployments of similar zero-emission trucks that will have significant environmental and health benefits across the entire state,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s executive officer.
Penske will run eCascadias in daily delivery operations within California’s Inland Empire with the electric trucks making multiple, daily store deliveries on a dedicated route.
NFI will use the eCascadias in operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“The program is the \cornerstone of our strategy to rapidly develop and deploy battery-electric trucks,” said Daimler Trucks North America CEO, Roger Nielsen.
Penske and NFI will provide Daimler with feedback that it will use to create the final design of Freightliner’s electric truck models, he said.
The Freightliner eCascadia and smaller Freightliner eM2 are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative. Penske is already testing the eM2 and Daimler has more than 100 electrified trucks and buses on the road globally.