Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) has built the first two Class 8 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias for customers at its research and development center in Portland.
The trucks are part of Freightliner’s Electric Innovation Fleet and built to test the integration of battery electric trucks in large-scale fleet operations.
The eCascadia is built on the foundation of the Freightliner Cascadia. The initial customer shipments are the first heavy-duty additions to the 30-vehicle Freightliner Innovation Fleet. Real-world use of the Innovation Fleet and continuing feedback from the members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council will inform the final production versions of both the eCascadia and the medium-duty Freightliner eM2 in a process of co-creation.
The Electric Vehicle Council brings together 38 Freightliner customers to identify and address all potential hurdles to large-scale deployment of commercial battery electric vehicles. Issues at the forefront of the discussion include charging infrastructure, partnerships with other parties in the e-mobility value chain, vehicle specifications and vehicle use case.
Penske Truck Leasing of Reading, Penn., and NFI of Camden, N.J., are both members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council and will be the first companies to employ the revolutionary eCascadia in their commercial operations. The eCascadias are destined for the Southern California operations of both companies and will arrive later this month. Additional deliveries of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet will continue throughout 2019.
The Freightliner Innovation Fleet is supported by a partnership between DTNA and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin and partially funded the Innovation Fleet with a nearly $16 million grant. The first of the medium-duty electric Freightliner eM2s began service earlier this year with Penske Truck Leasing and are operated within the South Coast AQMD.