Freightliner, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has delivered the first eCascadia Class 8 electric trucks to two customers for special trial runs. Penske Truck Leasing and NFI Industries received deliveries of the ground-breaking e-truck last week. According to Freightliner, both companies will test how well the battery-powered trucks integrate into large-scale fleet operations.
President and CEO of DTNA, Roger Nielsen, said the trials will give the company critical feedback as it works to finalize the design and development of the eCascadia, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2021.
“Co-creation is the cornerstone of DTNA’s strategy to rapidly develop and deploy battery electric trucks. DTNA’s partnerships with customers like Penske and NFI provide valuable feedback for the final design of our trucks, as well as the design of the surrounding e-mobility ecosystem,” Nielsen said. “DTNA’s holistic approach is vital to advancing viable transportation solutions from which society as a whole will benefit.”
A press release from Freightliner states that both Penske Truck Leasing and NFI will use the eCascadia in their daily operations. As Brian Hard, president and CEO of Penske Truck Leasing, explained:
“Our first eCascadia will be used by our subsidiary Penske Logistics to make multiple, daily store deliveries on a dedicated route. Our in-house maintenance technicians are trained and well prepared, and our recent investments in charging infrastructure in the South Coast Air Basin will play an important role as we operate these cutting edge vehicles on their delivery routes.”
NFI CEO Sid Brown said his company is honored to be one of the very first to drive the eCascadia, adding that it highlights the NFI’s dedication to environmental responsibility.
“As the premier drayage provider in Southern California, we are excited to be one of first to deploy the eCascadia into our operations, accompanied by the installation of electric charging stations,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to invest in new technology and equipment to operate more efficiently, and to do our part in creating cleaner communities.”