The transportation and logistics service provider Schneider took a long stride toward electrifying its fleet on Tuesday, announcing it will add 50 Freightliner eCascadias to its Southern California intermodal operations beginning in 2022.
The Class 8 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) trucks are part of the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based carrier’s plan to reduce greenhouse emissions. The company also has plans for more BEVs and route options.
Funding for the 50 BEVs was announced today as part of the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), which is sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC).
Schneider is already familiar with electric vehicle technology, having piloted an eCascadia for six months through Freightliner’s Customer Experience fleet, the firm said. According to the company, the expanded adoption of BEVs will now make it one of the largest battery-electric truck fleets in North America.
“Schneider’s sustainability initiatives got a big boost when we were selected to participate in the state of California’s Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative,” Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke said in a release. “The scaling of zero-emission vehicles is a key component of our goal to reduce carbon emissions by 7.5% per mile by 2025 and by 60% per mile by 2035.”
The news came the same day that Performance Team, a warehousing and distribution company that is a division of maritime container giant Maersk, said it had placed an order for 16 Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks.
That order marks the largest commercial order of the North American zero-tailpipe emission model to date, and was likewise made through a grant from California's South Coast AQMD, intended to reduce emissions in the transportation sector by replacing diesel trucks with electric trucks and creating new charging infrastructure.
El Segundo, California-based Performance Team said the vehicles would mark its first zero-tailpipe emission, battery-electric Class 8 trucks. They will be used to carry regional loads daily to customers across Southern California, in service of the company’s North American warehousing and distribution network of 45 locations and fleet of 215 trucks.
According to the company, the trucks will improve local residents' quality of life by supporting decarbonized and quiet transportation on urban streets and roadways, while also creating a more comfortable working environment for drivers through reduced vehicle noise and vibration.
"We're seeing a 30% growth rate in our Warehousing and Distribution business," Jason Walker, executive vice president of operations of Performance Team – A Maersk Company, said in a release. "Customers are looking for more truck power to meet high volume delivery demands. This new order of Volvo VNR Electric trucks will give us firsthand experience on their performance carrying regional loads and environmental benefits. Our findings will help determine next steps in our fleet modernization and the electric infrastructure necessary for future operations."