The VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks to be deployed in Saia LTL Freight's fleet. - Photo: Volvo

The VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks to be deployed in Saia LTL Freight's fleet.

Photo: Volvo

Saia LTL Freight took delivery of two Volvo VNR Electric trucks at its facility in Los Angeles. The VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks to be deployed in Saia’s fleet, which provides regional freight distribution services throughout Southern California, as well as logistics services across North America.

The trucks are being leased to Saia by Volvo Financial Services as part of the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project — a collaboration between Volvo Trucks North America, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and 12 other organizations. The project aims to develop a “blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the North American transport industry at scale.” The project includes a total of 17 leased VNR Electrics being placed into Southern California fleet operations, Volvo officials said in a press release.

Across the U.S., Saia has a fleet of nearly 5,000 trucks, including 350 in Southern California, that operate out of 170 terminals and transport more than 30,000 daily shipments to customers in a myriad of industrial and manufacturing sectors. Saia will leverage the firsthand insight gained by operating its two Volvo VNR Electrics to identify the ideal routes in which to integrate additional battery-electric trucks for its future operations, Volvo officials said in a press release.

“Being a good corporate citizen is an important principle of our core values, so it’s imperative that we are managing our operations in a responsible and sustainable manner,” said Fritz Holzgrefe, Saia president and chief executive officer. “Partnering with Volvo Trucks to deploy the VNR Electrics into our Southern California freight routes will allow us to explore and fully utilize zero-emission technology to reduce our fleet’s carbon footprint.”

To help Saia maximize vehicle uptime, TEC Equipment, Volvo Trucks’ largest West Coast dealership and a Volvo LIGHTS project partner, will provide contracted maintenance and repairs through the premier Volvo Gold Contract service offering at its location in Fontana, California.

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