USA: Schneider to deploy major battery-electric truck fleet

Logistics provider Schneider announced a major battery-electric truck deployment as part of the carrier’s plan to reduce greenhouse emissions. Beginning in 2022, Schneider will add 50 Freightliner eCascadias to its Southern California operations.

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The company claims this would make the organisation one of the largest battery-electric truck fleets in North America. The buying decision followed a six-month pilot through Freightliner’s Customer Experience fleet as reported. It saw Daimler Trucks select 14 clients from a range of sectors to test the heavy-duty electric trucks over a period of 22 months in real-life applications.

“It’s the close collaboration and co-creation with our customers like Schneider that allows us to bring the best products to market,” said Daimler Trucks North America Vice President of On-Highway Market Development Steve Mignardi. He added the company was now at the point of offering state-of-the-art electric trucks together with smart infrastructure solutions. At least in Europe, Daimler Trucks in May this year reportedly agreed to work with Engie, EVBox and Siemens Smart Infrastructure on truck charging solutions.

Schneider, in today’s announcement, did not disclose technical details on the deal or charging infrastructure. The company has, however, had funding of an undisclosed amount for the 50 BEVs through the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), which is sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke said the money was a “big boost” and announced targets to reduce carbon emissions by 7.5% per mile by 2025 and 60% per mile by 2035, mostly at the fleet level. The company accordingly says it has plans for more BEVs and route options.

For Daimler Trucks, the division is starting series production of the Cascadia under the Freightliner banner as planned in Oregon this year. The fully electric eCascadia is based on the ICE model that Daimler says is the most successful long-distance truck on the North American market. The series eCascadia is specced to have up to 730 peak horsepower and batteries with 550 KWh usable capacity for a 250-mile range and the ability to charge up to 80 per cent in about 90 minutes.

Update 07 December 2022:

Schneider has significantly increased the number of electric trucks ordered from Daimler Truck North America. After making the announcement above, that it would operate a fleet of 50 eCascadia from Daimler subsidiary Freightliner in Southern California from 2022, the company has since ordered a further twelve eCascadia and now an additional 30 units from Daimler Truck, making a total of 92 electric trucks. Deliveries to Schneider are scheduled to begin shortly.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) presented the production version of the eCascadia with a gross vehicle weight of 82,000 lbs, or the equivalent of 37.2 tonnes, in May 2022. Customers of the Class 8 semitrailer can choose between three battery options: 194 kWh, 291 kWh and 438 kWh, whereby the latter version is said to have a range of up to 230 miles or 370 kilometres. At a fast-charging station, the smallest battery can be charged to 80 per cent in 90 minutes, while Freightliner gives a charging time of 120 minutes for the two larger options., update:


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