Daimler Trucks North America is launching the Freightliner Customer Experience Fleet of all-electric pre-series trucks, putting six heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadias and two medium-duty eM2 106 trucks into customer hands. Ultimately, the OEM said, at least 14 different fleets will get a chance to help in evaluating the demonstrator trucks.
The Freightliner CX Fleet is part of DTNA’s ongoing "co-creation" initiative that engages customers in the commercial electric vehicle development process by deploying trucks in real-world applications. At least 14 customers who collectively represent more than 150,000 Class 6-8 trucks currently on the road in the U.S. will help test the new Freightliner CX Fleet.
The Freightliner CX Fleet adds to the 30-vehicle Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet, which started operation in late 2018 to provide feedback and real-world use data on the integration of battery electric trucks in large-scale fleet operations. The Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet recently hit a milestone, surpassing 100,000 cumulative miles of operation.
Freightliner CX Fleet participants are members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council, a group of customers working with Freightliner to identify and address potential hurdles to large-scale deployment of commercial battery electric vehicles. Over the next 22 months, DTNA will collect and analyze data and feedback from the CX Fleet to continue to improve on electric vehicle design and help customers transition to electric fleets.
“It’s critical that we collaborate with customers across multiple segments to further our understanding of how commercial battery electric trucks will be part of a long-term solution in CO₂-neutral transportation,” said Richard Howard, senior vice president, On-highway sales and marketing, DTNA, in a release. “Our customers provide important, continuous feedback that contributes to our ongoing design and purposeful innovation of these trucks and together we will lead the future.”
The eCascadia is a Class 8 tractor designed for local and regional distribution and drayage; the eM2 is a Class 6/7 truck designed for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile logistics applications.