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March 31, 2021 4:00 PM, EDT

Fleets Selected for NACFE's Run on Less - Electric Event

NACFE Run-electricNACFE

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The North American Council for Freight Efficiency has announced Run on Less – Electric, a real-world demonstration slated for September of zero-emission goods movement involving 13 private and public fleets and a mix of vehicles — including yard tractors — from 13 OEMs.

The three-week event will start Sept. 3 at ACT Expo in Long Beach and will feature metrics and daily real-world stories on the Run on Less website. The demonstration’s finale will take place at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta Sept. 28-30, according to NACFE.

“We are very excited about the mix that these early adopting fleets represent and how that reflects the current state of electric truck actions across North America,” Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director, said in a release. “The interest in electric vehicles is spreading across North America as more companies recognize the value of zero-emission solutions.”

The vehicles fall into Classes 3-8 and include three vans, three medium-duty box trucks, a heavy-duty truck, four heavy-duty tractors in drayage and regional haul, and two terminal tractors in the demonstration.

Six operate in California, two in Canada — for the first time —and five more in the rest of the United States.

Drivers will be delivering home goods, beer, wine and liquor, baked goods, snacks, groceries, auto parts, mail, and packages and general freight, NACFE noted.

Specifically, the following carriers have signed on to help NACFE and its partner, Rocky Mountain Institute, showcase the benefits and discuss the challenges of electric trucks.

  • Alpha Baking Co. operating a Workhorse C1000 in Chicago.
  • Anheuser-Busch using a BYD tractor in the Los Angeles area.
  • Biagi Brothers operating a Peterbilt 579EV out of Sonoma, Calif.
  • Cardenas Inc. using an Xos van in Ventura, Calif.
  • NFI using a Volvo VNR Electric out of Chino, Calif.
  • Penske operating a Freightliner eCascadia in Los Angeles
  • PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division using a Cummins box truck in Modesto, Calif.
  • Purolator operating a Motiv-powered step van in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Roush Fenway Racing using a ROUSH CleanTech truck out of Concord, N.C.
  • Ruan using an Orange EV terminal tractor in Otsego, Minn.
  • Ryder System Inc. using a Lonestar Specialty Vehicles terminal tractor in Georgetown, Ky.
  • SAQ: Quebec Liquor board operating a LION8 truck in Montreal.
  • TBD operating a Lightning eMotors truck in the New York City area.

Roeth noted there are other OEMs involved in electrification but they could not provide a truck for daily commerce by June 1.

One large truckload carrier said the broad spectrum of both equipment and applications nonetheless will provide valuable insights for his business.

“There is so much new in this electric vehicle space you don’t always even know what questions to ask,” Rob Reich, NACFE board chair and chief administrative officer at Schneider, said during an online press conference.

“So I think it’s the benefits of seeing a variety of applications and equipment, and there’s a lesson from each one of them even if we may not do exactly that type of work. We start to see what decisions people are making, what questions are they asking that we haven’t thought of yet,” he said.

Schneider ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

Roeth called commercial vehicle electrifications “a decadeslong marathon, not a sprint.”

NACFE boot camp

Title sponsors of the event include Dana Inc., Meritor Inc. and Shell, with others sponsoring individual elements of the Run as well.

Recognizing that the move to electric vehicles takes more than just changes in engines and equipment, one element of Shell’s support of the program will be to provide Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) equal to the total energy usage of all of the participating battery-electric vehicles.

A REC, according to experts, can be traded and is a legal mechanism that represents the environmental benefits associated with one megawatt-hour of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource.

Meanwhile, those interested in learning more about electric trucks can participate in what NACFE and RMI call their boot camp. Registration is available online.

The first boot camp session is scheduled for April 20, followed by a new training every other Tuesday through Aug. 24. Topics the boot camp will cover include:

  • Why Electric Trucks?
  • Charging 101 — Planning & Buildout
  • Charging 201 — Power Management & Resilience
  • Working with Your Utility
  • Incentives for Electrification
  • Maintenance, Training & Safety
  • Finance & Innovative Business Models
  • Battery Supply Chains & End of Life
  • Global Perspectives
  • Drivers & Electric Trucks

This is NACFE’s third event in the Run on Less series. The first, Run on Less 2017, focused on longhaul routes and the seven drivers averaged 10 mpg. During the second event, Run on Less Regional, 10 drivers averaged 8.3 mpg hauling in a wide variety of regional-haul applications.

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