Third-party logistics provider (3PL) NFI Industries recently received the first of 10 planned Class 8, battery-electric Freightliner eCascadias from Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), and will deploy it for drayage operations in Southern California.
The delivery makes NFI one of the first companies to deploy the eCascadia into its commercial operations, the company said Aug. 22. NFI and vehicle rental giant Penske Truck Leasing Co. are members of Daimler's "Freightliner electric vehicle council," a test program for improving the design of electric trucks and sharing information about their adoption. Daimler had delivered a smaller, medium-duty Freightliner eM2 model vehicle to Penske on Dec. 20 as part of its effort to replace traditional diesel-powered trucks with emissions-free electric models.
On Aug. 12 Daimler said it had built the first two full-sized, battery-electric trucks in this class at its research and development center in Portland, Ore. The trucks are part of Freightliner's "electric innovation fleet" and built to test the integration of battery electric trucks in large-scale fleet operations, Daimler said.
With its newest electric truck, NFI will test the battery-electric vehicles under real-world conditions and provide feedback to help enhance the integration of commercial electric vehicles into operations, the company said. In support of that, NFI has installed electric charging stations within its Chino, Calif., operations.
"Our partnership with DTNA is a testament to our commitment to social responsibility," NFI CEO Sid Brown said in a release. "We continue to identify and implement new and innovative ways to create cleaner communities, reduce our carbon footprint, and operate more efficiently in both Southern California and the rest of our North American footprint."
To further its green initiatives, NFI says it also operates "near zero" compressed natural gas trucks fueled with renewable energy and electric yard horse tractors, in addition to electric trucks. NFI also uses battery powered auxiliary power units (APUs) and outfits its dedicated fleet with aerodynamic components to aid in decreasing fuel usage.
Delivering the first #electric Freightliner eCascadia to US customers:— Daimler AG (@Daimler) August 24, 2019
? range of up to 250 miles (400 km)
? @PenskeNews will be operating the eCascadia in regional traffic in Southern California
? @NFIindustries will employ the eCascadia in drayage operations #Daimler pic.twitter.com/iGzQCwyEGa