Pennsylvania-based Penske Truck Leasing and New Jersey-based transportation logistics expert NFI will be the first companies to utilize Daimler Trucks North America’s eCascadia heavy-duty battery-electric truck for commercial shipping. Both companies are part of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council and were among the first to test the new trucks.
The electric trucks, built at a Daimler factory in Portland, Oregon, are the first big rigs to be part of the Freightliner Innovation Fleet and are meant for operation in Southern California where they will arrive in August. Penske has also opened 14 new charging stations in La Mirada, San Diego, Chino, and Anaheim.
“We’re committed to being at the forefront of commercial vehicle electrification,” said Brian Hard, president, and chief executive officer for Penske. “We are investing to ensure our customers have access to the right vehicles, technology, charging infrastructure and information to help shape the future of mobility in our industry.”
The new eCascadia’s sit atop the foundation of Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia which is the trucking market’s best-selling Class 8 heavy-duty truck. More eCascadias will arrive later in the year. The new vehicle council was devised by Daimler to bring together 38 customers to identify and solve any issues regarding full deployment of commercial battery-electric trucks. Major issues include charging infrastructure—which Penske is already addressing—and potential partnerships in the e-mobility value chain.
In a press release, Daimler CEO Roger Nielsen said, “Our team is incredibly proud to be leading the way for the industry, but prouder still to be working with our customers in a process of co-creation to make real electric trucks for real work in the real world.”