The South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission are leading an effort to deploy 100 battery-electric regional haul and drayage trucks across California.
The battery-electric trucks will be deployed through a partnership with NFI Industries and Schneider as part of a project known as the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative. The Initiative, jointly financed by CARB and the CEC ($26.98 million), is the largest investment of its kind, South Coast AQMD officials said in a press release. South Coast AQMD contributed $5.43 million, and another 20 project partners funded $41.37 million.
Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Trucks North America will produce and deliver Class 8 battery-electric trucks for deployment in Schneider and NFI’s Southern California fleet operations.
Beginning in 2022, Schneider will add 50 Freightliner eCascadias — the truck manufacturer’s first commercial Class 8 battery-electric truck— to its Southern California intermodal operations. DTNA will deliver another 30 eCascadias to NFI.
In addition, Volvo Trucks will deliver 30 VNR Electric trucks, an all-electric Class 8 model that the company commercialized in late 2020, to NFI. With the deployment of a combined 50 battery-electric trucks at its Ontario facility, NFI will operate the first fully zero-emission freight logistics fleet in California.
Through the JETSI project, NFI and Schneider will collectively install 50 electric vehicle chargers, warehouse upgrades, on-site energy storage and rooftop solar, resulting in more than $16.8 million of regional economic activity from associated construction costs, South Coast AQMD officials said in a press release.
Over 20 project partners representing charging equipment manufacturers, infrastructure providers, nonprofit organizations, technology suppliers and more will collaborate on the eight-year project to ensure all aspects of fleet electrification are considered.
Partners include Green Paradigm Consulting, Power Electronics, Electrify Commercial, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, Coalition for Clean Air, Calstart, Electric Power Research Institute, Ri-cardo Strategic Consulting, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Black & Veatch, and University of California, Riverside. The Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, and Southern California Edison.
The project is poised to reduce five tons of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter annually along Southern California’s I-710 corridor, as well as eliminate 8,247 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Connecting the San Pedro Bay Port complex to inland distribution centers and warehouses, the I-710 accounts for 20% of all PM emissions in Southern California, South Coast AQMD officials said.
At Schneider, the zero-emission trucks will replace the equivalent of more than 690,000 diesel-gallons annually while helping to accelerate commercialization of heavy-duty battery-electric vehicles across the market. Schneider officials say they has plans for more BEVs and route options.
The scaling of zero-emission vehicles is a key component of the company’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 7.5% per mile by 2025 and by 60% per mile by 2035, said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke in a press release.
“We recognize the impact we can make through more significant innovation in fleet efficiency,” said Schneider Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Reich. “Our primary sustainability focus is to minimize the environmental impact directly from our fleet.”
Schneider has piloted an eCascadia for six months through Freightliner’s Customer Experience fleet.