One of the leading truck operators in the USA, J.B Hunt has become the second major fleet to add Daimler’s new medium duty eCanter electric distribution trucks to its fleet.

J.B. Hunt, is ranked the fourth biggest carrier in the USA and has made its first purchase of electric-powered trucks, acquiring five medium-duty eCanters for use in delivery operations in Santa Fe Springs, California as well as in the greater Houston area in Texas.

“These trucks may be silent, but they speak loudly of our dedication to creating a more sustainable transportation system,” said John Roberts, CEO  J.B. Hunt.

“Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and improve efficiency stretch across the supply chain, from intermodal load conversion to enhancing the aerodynamics and safety of our fleet. This latest addition brings that effort to the last mile and directly to the consumer’s doorstep,” Roberts added.

Justin Palmer, president and CEO of Fuso Truck of America, said the sale to J.B. Hunt represents an industry milestone.

“The eCanter demonstrates that the future of electric trucks is very possible and is no longer a prototype, but a real truck delivering real goods daily,” he stated.

The first fleets to take delivery of the eCanter were grocery retailer 7-Eleven and Yamato Transport in Japan while U.S. customers include parcel carrier UPS, the University of California and the New York Botanical Garden.

The eCanters are produced at plants in Kawasaki in Japan, and  also at Tramagal in Portugal, and are powered by six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries with a driving range of 130km on a full charge and a maximum payload of about 4.2 tonnes.

The electric trucks will be added to the final mile services division of of J.B. Hunt which operates a fleet of more than 15,600 prime movers and 734 rigid trucks across the USA.