The two Volvo VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks in Fleetmaster...

The two Volvo VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks in Fleetmaster Express' fleet, and a key first step toward the goal of replacing all Fleetmaster Express’ existing trucks with zero tailpipe-emission battery-electric trucks in the future.

Photo: VTNA

Texas-based fleet Fleetmaster Express ordered 10 Class 8 Volvo VNR Electrics to support supply chain sustainability efforts for Ball Corp., a provider of recyclable aluminum beverage packaging.

Fleetmaster Express will begin operating its first two battery-electric trucks in the second quarter of 2022, making them the first Volvo VNR Electric trucks to operate in Texas. Eight additional Volvo VNR Electrics will be delivered in early 2023. Texas is a new market for the Volvo VNR Electric.

Fleetmaster Express has supported Ball Corp.’s supply chain distribution since 1987. The Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be used to haul finished aluminum cans on approximately 8-mile runs around Fort Worth from Ball Corporation’s distribution center, averaging 10 to 15 trips per day. Fleetmaster has installed two charging infrastructure at its Fort Worth facility, and an additional eight are scheduled for deployment over the next few months.

"We aspire to make a bold reduction of our carbon footprint to further provide our customers and consumers with low-carbon and truly circular aluminum packaging options," said Adam Shalapin, global sustainability director at Ball Corporation. "This project will drive progress on Ball's commitment to reducing our absolute value chain emissions 16% by 2030 and brings us one step closer to achieving net zero carbon emissions prior to 2050."

Fleetmaster Express operates more than 300 trucks and 1,300 trailers with locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The two Volvo VNR Electrics are the first battery-electric Class 8 trucks in its fleet, and a first step toward the goal of replacing all its trucks with battery-electric models.

“Four years of countless planning, engineering, and development; I’m thrilled to say that Fleetmaster Express is on the cutting edge of the industry delivering an alternative sustainable energy solution. Technology like this is the future of our industry,” said Travis Smith, chief operating officer of Fleetmaster Express.

Fleetmaster Express purchased the Volvo VNR Electric trucks through Nacarato Truck Centers, a Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle Dealer, in Roanoke, Virginia. The dealership’s sales team, supported by Volvo Trucks electromobility team, consulted with Fleetmaster Express to determine ideal routes for the Volvo VNR Electric, based on vehicle range, ideal charging opportunities, and duty cycle.

The battery-electric trucks will be housed outside of Nacarato's service territory, so they will receive routine maintenance and service from the Dallas/Fort Worth location of Bruckner's Truck and Equipment, which recently finalized its requirements to become a Volvo Trucks Certified EV Dealer — the first in Texas.

“Texas is home to several key trucking corridors, and Bruckner’s Fort Worth dealership is well positioned to service fleet operators involved in local and regional goods movement, an ideal application for the Volvo VNR Electric truck,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.

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