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January 14, 2021 1:00 PM, EST

NACFE Plans Run on Less-Electric Event in September

Run on Less truckA Run on Less truck from a prior event. This year's edition will involve electric trucks. (NACFE via Vimeo)

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The North American Council for Freight Efficiency announced plans for Run on Less-Electric, a technology demonstration of a variety of battery-electric trucks in everyday operation.

RoL-E is scheduled to begin in September and last for three weeks.

It is intended to feature up to 10 dedicated trucks, drivers and charging infrastructure systems across the United States and Canada.

Roeth

Roeth

“We will pick the 10 participants in late March and make an announcement in mid-April,” NACFE Executive Director Mike Roeth said. “We say Run on Less is real trucks, real freight. And we are ready for that with electric.”

Vehicles from vans to medium-duty box trucks to heavy-duty tractors will be moving freight in different duty cycles and geographic and climate areas, according to NACFE.

Yard tractors could potentially be included, too. The group is in discussions with fleets and truck builders and is accepting additional applications to participate.

NACFE’s first Run on Less event was in 2017 and involved seven diesel-powered trucks running over 17 days in linehaul applications and achieved 10.1 miles per gallon. A second demonstration looking at fuel efficiency with 10 trucks ran in 2019 and focused on regional-haul trucking.

In some ways, RoL-E is “myth busting” that electric trucks don’t work or can’t haul freight, Roeth said. He expects the event will uncover challenges and those will come “as we tell the story” of the infrastructure and operations, driver acceptance and financing.

Roeth added: “We will publish a RoL-E report sometime in 2022 based on this experience where we will go into a lot of the details and data and information from all the different players. We will learn a lot throughout all this.”

Rob Reich

Reich

NACFE Chairman Rob Reich, who also is Schneider’s chief administrative officer, said, “We are earlier in the cycle of this technology, but I think there is such a big learning opportunity. That’s what makes this [Run on Less] exciting and appropriately timed.”

Schneider ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It ranks No. 18 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

NACFE’s goal is to showcase equipment that is representative of the truck builders’ plans for electric vehicles. Fleet teams will include their original equipment manufacturer partners, since most fleets have a limited number of electric trucks in service, many of them in pre-production mode.

Results of the RoL-E will be presented at the North American Commercial Vehicle show, scheduled for Sept. 28-30 in Atlanta. “We are planning to have a small theater in the exhibit hall for talking about Run on Less-Electric throughout all of NACV. Maybe hourly fireside chats in that theater,” Roeth said.

NACFE, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), is seeking additional sponsors for the event, which already has the “title” support of Dana Inc., Meritor Inc. and Shell Group. NACFE hopes the event will highlight the actions needed to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles.

Meritor and Dana each provide components to support electric powertrains. Shell is getting involved in the charging infrastructure through its Greenlots subsidiary.

At the same time, NACFE and RMI intend to host a series of 10 virtual educational events in the months before RoL-E to discuss the why and how of electric truck deployments. The series is scheduled to include discussions with fleet managers, charging providers, utilities, engineering firms, policymakers and others.

“The education series is going to look forward,” Roeth said. It is scheduled to begin in May and end in August. It will have its own sponsors. A badge will be available to those who attend the full program.

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