December 20, 2018 3:15 PM, EST

Daimler Delivers Freightliner Electric Truck to Penske

DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen delivers the first Freightliner eM2 to PenskeDTNA CEO Roger Nielsen delivers the first Freightliner eM2 electric commercial vehicle to Penske Truck Leasing CEO Brian Hard on Dec. 20. (Daimler Trucks North America)

Daimler Trucks North America on Dec. 20 delivered to Penske Truck Leasing the first in a series of electric trucks Penske plans to deploy in California and the Pacific Northwest.

The truck is one of nine medium-duty Freightliner eM2 models Penske will add to its logistics and truck leasing and rental operations in the year ahead, according to a press release from DTNA. Penske also will add 10 Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 trucks to its operation.

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The delivery fulfilled DTNA’s commitment to put an electric truck into a customer’s hands by year’s end, and is part of the company’s strategy of co-developing future technologies with its customers, the release said. Earlier this year, DTNA formed the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council to further its sustainable transportation program. The council is composed of 30 customers, including Penske, with strong use cases for electric trucks. Members work with the OEM on co-development of battery-electric vehicle deployment strategies.

“Penske is honored to be the first company to put this new medium-duty electric truck into service,” said Penske CEO Brian Hard at a ceremony in Carson, Calif. At the event, he was handed the keys to the truck by DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen.

“I commend and thank Roger Nielsen and his team at Daimler Trucks North America for their outstanding collaboration and spirit of co-creation with us over the last nine months to bring this innovative technology to market,” Hard said.

“With increased hauling demands and regulatory pressures, combined with ongoing concerns over energy-resource depletion, it is more important than ever that DTNA continues to rigorously test and research electric vehicle solutions together with our customers,” Nielsen said in the release.

DTNA's Roger Nielsen at the EV handover to Penske

DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen speaks at the electric vehicle handover to Penske. (Daimler Trucks North America)

Starting this month, Penske will begin installation of 20 charging stations for the trucks across five of its California locations. In 2019, the company will add nine medium-duty electric eM2 trucks and 10 heavy-duty eCascadia electric trucks into service in California and the Pacific Northwest. The eM2 electric truck specializes in local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery and last-mile logistics applications. The eCascadia Class 8 tractor is designed for local and regional distribution and drayage. Both are slated to enter series production in 2021, DTNA said.

DTNA, a Daimler company, is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and manufactures, sells and services commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit and Thomas Built Buses nameplates.

Penske, headquartered in Reading, Pa., operates more than 300,000 vehicles and 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia.