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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Volvo Trucks North America announced NFI Industries and Quality Custom Distribution, between them, placed orders for an additional 90 Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 vehicles.
VTNA made the announcement during the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo, which drew a record 8,000 attendees May 9-12. A year earlier, 5,000 came.
“This development to zero emissions, it’s going on and it’s going fast and every time we try to predict what’s happening we’re wrong because it goes faster,” VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve said at the show. “We need to accelerate the shift.”
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Volvo Trucks globally has set a target to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2030, and 10 years later “all our vehicles will be zero-emissions vehicles,” he said.
VTNA has 12 EV-certified truck dealers in North America and another 40 in the process.
NFI Industries ordered 60 of the electric trucks to deploy in its Ontario, Calif., fleet throughout 2022 and 2023. NFI has stated its goal is to operate the first 100% zero-emission freight logistics fleet in the nation.
NFI ranks No. 16 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
NFI was part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project that began in 2019.
The trucks headed to NFI are the next-generation enhanced Volvo VNR Electric model with a six-battery-pack configuration, which provides an operational range of up to 275 miles. The enhanced Volvo VNR Electric, which began production in the second quarter, also reduces the required charging time, as 250 kW charging capability provides an 80% charge in 90 minutes.
Electrify America is developing the infrastructure to support NFI’s zero-emission fleet and build the nation’s largest heavy-duty electric truck charging infrastructure project, VTNA noted. The project will provide 19 of the 350 kW ultra-fast chargers with 38 dispensers to support NFI’s growing battery-electric drayage fleet that serves the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“Our experience with the Volvo LIGHTS project was a major factor in NFI’s decision to purchase VNR Electric trucks for our drayage operations,” said Bill Bliem, senior vice president of fleet services at NFI. “NFI started our electrification transition because we are committed to sustainability initiatives across our operations, and we are continuing to invest in Volvo Trucks because of the proven viability and success we have had operating the Volvo VNR Electrics in our real-world routes.”
NFI benefited from a series of incentives, including from: the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission, California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Targeted Air Shed Grant Program supplemented by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
CARB took a booth at ACT Expo, and prominently placed a poster highlighting the HVIP incentive.
Quality Custom Distribution, a Golden State Foods company, ordered 30 more Volvo VNR Electrics, and 16 fast chargers and a renewable energy microgrid to power the chargers.
The company now has 45 electric trucks. It delivers products to restaurants and coffee shops throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In all, it has 700 Class 8 tractors that make more than 1 million last-mile deliveries from its 26 distribution centers across the U.S., averaging more than 35 million miles on the road annually.
QCD was also part of the Volvo LIGHTS project.
“We now have the experience needed to map out the ideal routes to integrate additional battery-electric trucks,” said Shane Blanchette, senior director of operations at QCD.
Volvo Group North America published a lessons learned guidebook from the Volvo LIGHTS project. It is available for download.
“We want to share the learnings we have so we can further accelerate the shift,” Voorhoeve said.
To further bolster the environmental and economic benefits of the project, as well as increase resiliency, QCD partnered with Scale Microgrid Solutions to build a first-of-its-kind clean energy microgrid to power its La Puente, Calif., battery-electric fleet and distribution center.
InCharge Energy will supply and maintain 16 fast-charging stations using on-site renewable energy generated by the Scale microgrid.
QCD received funding for the 30 Volvo VNR Electrics through the Southern California Association of Governments’ Last Mile Freight Program, established in partnership with the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee.
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