Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) delivered the first vehicle in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet – a Freightliner eM2 – to Penske Truck Leasing, fulfilling its promise to put an electric commercial truck in customer hands in 2018. This delivery, made on Dec. 20, 2018, marks a key milestone in the real-world application of battery-electric commercial vehicles, as well as an important step towards emissions-free mobility.
“With increased hauling demands and regulatory pressures, combined with ongoing concerns over energy resource depletion, it is more important than ever that DTNA continues to rigorously test and research electric vehicle solutions together with our customers,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA, after handing over the eM2 key to Brian Hard, president and chief executive officer of Penske Truck Leasing, during an event in Carson, California. “Electric commercial vehicles present a real opportunity to advance the ideal of emissions-free mobility while improving our customers’ real cost of ownership (RCO).”
The introduction of the eM2 into Penske’s fleet is also a first in DTNA’s co-creation approach with customers as it co-develops technology to shape the future of transportation.
As the first step in its infrastructure deployment, Penske Truck Leasing will install 20 high-power charging stations across five of its California locations. Penske will put an additional nine medium-duty electric eM2 trucks and 10 heavy-duty eCascadia electric trucks into targeted service in California and the Pacific Northwest. Penske will place the electric vehicles into service within its expansive logistics, truck leasing and truck rental fleets.
Also participating in the ceremony was Judy Mitchell, a governing board member at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin. The Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet is partially funded with a nearly $16M grant from SCAQMD. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach also contributed to the grant.
Following the handover ceremony, the eM2 made its first holiday delivery of native plant seedlings to help restore communities that continue to suffer from devastating wildfire damage. Along with the seedling delivery, DTNA and Penske Truck Leasing made a joint $50,000 donation to the TreePeople, a local non-profit organization that plants and cares for trees throughout Los Angeles County and nearby mountain forests. This holiday delivery brings much needed resources for cleaning the air, creating green spaces, and cooling the city.