Daimler Trucks North America announced Penske Truck Leasing and NFI Industries will operate the first trucks in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet of battery-electric eCascadia heavy-duty trucks and eM2 106 medium-duty trucks beginning late this year.
“Freightliner is excited to be working with Penske and NFI on this critical learning process as we further develop and refine our commercial electric-vehicle technology,” DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen said in a statement. “Running multiple trucks in real-world applications will provide better insights for our engineers into the requirements of integrating electric commercial vehicles into fleet operations.”
Through May, DTNA posted the largest market share of U.S. retail sales of Classes 6-8 trucks, respectively, WardsAuto.com reported.
Penske Logistics ranks No. 21 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. NFI ranks No. 27 on the for-hire TT100.
Penske will receive 10 eCascadias and 10 eM2s for use in California and the Pacific Northwest, while 10 eCascadias will go to NFI for drayage activities from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses in California’s Inland Empire.
Freightliner eM2 106 (DTNA)
At the start of series production in 2021, the eCascadia will have up to 730 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 550 kWh usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% — providing a range of 200 miles — in about 90 minutes.
The Class 8 tractor is designed for local and regional distribution and drayage.
“We have had a long, collaborative relationship working with Daimler and its Freightliner brand,” Penske Truck Leasing CEO Brian Hard said. “We are encouraged by the progress Daimler has made with their electric-vehicle platforms for heavy-duty and medium-duty applications. We look forward to our continued cooperation and co-creation with Daimler on these electric vehicles as we operate them within our expansive logistics, truck leasing and rental fleets.”
NFI welcomed the innovation.
“Freightliner is known for bringing practical, transformative solutions to market,” NFI CEO Sid Brown said. “We’re proud to partner with them in development of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet. We fully expect it to be successful and a significant benefit to an untold number of people and communities.”
At the same time, DTNA has created the Electric Vehicle Council to share knowledge among customers gathered through the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet and DTNA electric-truck testing.
Through the council, DTNA will work with customers, establishing the necessary charging infrastructure, vehicle deployment and service support, according to the Portland, Ore.-based truck maker.
DTNA plans to offer customers consulting services to assist with site selection based on truck applications, available government incentives, infrastructure deployment and route identification as part of a preliminary review prior to commercial electric-vehicle business proposals.
Several other suppliers and truck makers have announced separate efforts to enter or broaden their participation in the electric-vehicle segment, including BYD Canada, Eaton Corp., Nikola Motor Co., Tesla Inc., Thor Trucks Inc., Volvo Trucks and ZF.