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December 5, 2018 5:30 PM, EST

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Takes Delivery of First All-Electric Trucks

J.B. Hunt's eCanter One of the eCanter electric trucks purchased by J.B. Hunt. (J.B. Hunt Transport Services)

J.B. Hunt Transport Services has made its first purchase of electric-powered trucks, acquiring five medium-duty eCanter box trucks from Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. for use in making deliveries in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and in the greater Houston area in Texas.

The purchase was announced in an ceremony at J.B. Hunt headquarters in Lowell, Ark., on Dec. 5.

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

J.B. Hunt is the second national carrier to introduce the eCanter trucks in the United States since the vehicle was launched in New York City in October 2017, according to Mitsubishi Fuso officials.

Justin Palmer, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, which is based in Logan Township, N.J., 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 Japanese grocery retailer 7-Eleven and Yamato Transport. U.S. customers include parcel carrier UPS Inc., the University of California and the New York Botanical Garden.

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.

Justin Palmer, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America

Justin Palmer

The trucks, which are produced at plants in Kawasaki, Japan, and Tramagal, Portugal, are powered by six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries with a driving range of 80 miles on a full charge and a maximum payload of about 9,380 pounds.

The electric trucks will be added to the Final Mile Services division of J.B. Hunt Dedicated Contract Services unit. J.B. Hunt DCS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics list of largest dedicated contract carriers in North America with 8,727 power units. Overall, J.B. Hunt operates a fleet of more than 15,600 tractors and 734 straight trucks, according to registration data on file with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 6 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of largest logistics companies in North America.