Fourteen months after announcing its intent to develop a Class 8 electric truck, Daimler Truck North America officially delivered the first two Freightliner eCascadia models to representatives from Penske Truck Leasing and NFI at a ceremony in Yountville, Calif.
Both tractors are destined or operation in Southern California. NFI’s truck will run in drayage operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while Penske will operate its truck in the Inland Empire area. Penske also was the first fleet recipient of a Freightliner eM2 in late 2018, and earlier this year it took possession of a limited-production Fuso eCanter. DTNA will deliver a total of 30 electric trucks to NFI and Penske as part of its Freightliner Innovation Fleet.
Both fleets are part of DTNA’s Electric Vehicle Council, a 38-member group dedicated to testing and validating battery-electric trucks in a wide variety of real-world conditions and types of operation.
“We are here today to celebrate how we work with our customers, and certainly these new eCascadias have our customers’ fingerprints all over it,” said Richard Howard, DTNA’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
“DTNA is leading the charge [in truck electrification], but we would not be there without partners like NFI and Penske,” said Michael Scheib, DTNA’s director of eMobility. “This project truly is about cocreation. But this is the first small step on a long road before we scale up this technology to make it mainstream in the industry.”
DTNA received a $16 million grant from South Coast Air Quality Management District to help fund development of the electric trucks for operation in its jurisdiction.
“We are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking project that will directly impact local Southern California communities, especially those disproportionately impacted by air pollution,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer. “We hope to see larger scale deployments of similar zero emission trucks that will have significant environmental and health benefits across the entire state.”