NFI has worked closely with Volvo and Freightliner to deploy battery-electric Class 8 trucks in...

NFI has worked closely with Volvo and Freightliner to deploy battery-electric Class 8 trucks in its Southern California drayage operations.

Photo: NFI

NFI is expanding its fleet of Class 8 battery-electric trucks in Southern California and plans to have 100 in operation by the end of the year.

“NFI has worked closely with its OEM partners — Volvo Trucks and Daimler Truck — during the last several years to put battery-electric trucks to the test on our routes across Southern California,” said Sid Brown, CEO of NFI. “By the end of this year, we will have 100 Class 8 battery-electric trucks dedicated to port drayage, bringing cleaner air to the communities in which we operate.”

The first 50 of the trucks, 30 electric Freightliner eCascadia and 20 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, are funded through the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI) project, which is designed to show that fleets can successfully scale their electric-truck fleets. The initiative was first announced in 2021.

NFI reports that it has taken delivery of the first 15 trucks funded through the project, with the remaining ordered trucks set to be delivered by the end of June, to operate from its Ontario, California, warehouse facility.

Another 50 electric trucks will be coming funded through other sources.

To install the charging infrastructure needed to support its growing BET fleet, NFI is working closely with Southern California Edison, Electrify Commercial, and the City of Ontario to upgrade the facility’s power supply and install 19 350kW power cabinets, which have 38 electric vehicle charger dispensers. NFI’s Ontario charging infrastructure is anticipated to be installed and energized by the end of 2023. In the meantime, NFI will temporarily operate its electric trucks from its Chino facility, which contains high-powered charging infrastructure from earlier projects. 

NFI's Truck Electrification Leadership

NFI has a company-owned fleet of more than 5,000 tractors and 14,300 trailers. As part of the company’s commitment to drive supply chain sustainability, NFI has taken a leadership role in the electrification of freight movement.

Through its participation in multiple freight electrification projects, NFI has gained valuable insight into which routes are optimal for electric trucks, based on the number of stops, topography, traffic patterns, freight being transported, and more.

In addition, NFI has collaborated with Volvo Trucks North America and Daimler Truck North America to configure its trucks based on its operational needs, as well as train its drivers on how to extend power in the battery and how to maximize regenerative braking benefits.   

NFI has participated in several electric-truck demonstration projects since 2018, including the Volvo LIGHTS, Daimler Truck’s Innovation Fleet, and Switch-On projects. Through these projects, NFI’s demonstration fleet of Freightliner eCascadias, Volvo VNR Electrics, and electric yard tractors has traveled more than 1.5 million miles to date and offset more than 2,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions — equivalent to eliminating 225,933 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.

To learn more about NFI’s fleet sustainability initiatives, visit  

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