Daimler enlists Penske and NFI in electric truck trials
June 29, 2018
Partners will share data about truck design and performance ahead of full
production launch in 2021.
Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) said Wednesday it was expanding its
test program for improving the design of electric trucks by partnering with
vehicle rental giant Penske Truck Leasing Co. and third-party logistics
provider (3PL) NFI Industries to share information about adopting the fast
Beginning with preliminary vehicle deliveries starting in late 2018,
Reading, Pa.-based Penske and Cherry Hill, N.J.-based NFI will operate
Daimler's latest models—its eCascadia heavy-duty trucks and eM2 106
medium-duty trucks. The two companies will become members of the German
company's Electric Vehicle Council, sharing knowledge gathered through their
use of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet and participating in
activities to prepare their facilities and fleet operations for Daimler's
launch of full-scale electric truck production in 2021.
The strategy is part of Daimler's effort to enlist its customers in a
"co-creation process" for developing commercial electric vehicles, the
company said. That process will launch in three sites: Penske will take
delivery of 10 eCascadias and 10 eM2s for use in California and the Pacific
Northwest, NFI will operate 10 eCascadias for drayage activities from the
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses in California's Inland
Empire, and Portland, Ore.-based DTNA itself will operate electric trucks
within its Product Validation Engineering (PVE) test fleet in Oregon.
Electric truck technology has been gaining momentum since Palo Alto,
Calif.-based electric car manufacturer Tesla unveiled an electrically
powered tractor-trailer in 2017, saying it planned to launch production of
the Tesla Semi by 2019. Industry heavyweights such as FedEx Corp., Schneider
Inc., J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and UPS Inc. have
lined up to put down deposits on the vehicles, but industry experts say
questions remain about how users will adapt to limits on electric vehicles'
driving range, recharging facilities, and maintenance experience.
And in May, beer giant Anheuser-Busch Co. LLC said it had placed an order
for up to 800 [h2fcv hybrid/electrified] semi trucks from Salt Lake
City-based Nikola Motor Co., with plans to begin using some of the electric
vehicles before the end of the year.
Creating an Electric Vehicle Council is a way for Daimler to answer some of
the questions about industrial adoption of electric vehicle technology by
collecting information from users, developing use cases with customers, and
integrating commercial electric vehicle solutions into companies' supply
chain operations, the company said. "Running multiple trucks in real-world
applications will provide better insights for our engineers into the
requirements of integrating electric commercial vehicles into fleet
operations," Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of DTNA,
said in a statement. "We are partnering with these two customers for this
phase of the co-creation process because they have use cases that closely
fit the target applications we have identified."
The move is Daimler's latest step in exploring ways to meet the most
promising target applications for electrified commercial vehicles, with
products like Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley school
bus and the FUSO eCanter already operating in limited trials.
Daimler says its eCascadia model will be a Class 8 tractor designed for
local and regional distribution and drayage, with a range of up to 250 miles
and the ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 200 miles)
in about 90 minutes.
The firm's eM2 truck is intended to be an electrified solution for local
distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile
logistics applications. It will have a range of up to 230 miles and have the
ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 184 miles) in about
Tesla has announced that it plans to build electric semi models with a
300-mile range and a 500-mile range, but has not given as estimate for how
long they take to charge their batteries. Tesla says its vehicles will offer
autonomous driving capabilities that improve fuel savings and reliability.
search evdl varchive for daimler trucks
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tested looking at various ...
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