US foods to procure 30 electric trucks in California

Food delivery company US Foods is adding 30 electric trucks to its fleet this year. These will be used around the company’s distribution centre in La Mirada, California. US Foods has already taken delivery of its first electric truck, an eCascadia from the Daimler truck US brand Freightliner.

Whether more eCascadia will follow or whether US Foods will pursue a multi-brand strategy for the procurement of the 30 units in total is not clear from the press release. It merely states that the company is receiving public aid at the federal and state levels for the purchase and that the charging system will be installed at its distribution centre by technology partner NextEra Energy Resources.

Regarding the first electric truck that has arrived, US Foods specifies that it is a battery-electric Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia Single eAxle truck. This is the production version of the eCascadia with a gross vehicle weight of 82,000 lbs or the equivalent of 37.2 tonnes. Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) had unveiled the production version of the electric truck in May 2022 and handed over the first units to US customers in November 2022.

Customers of the Class 8 semi-truck can choose between three battery options 194 kWh, 291 kWh and 438 kWh. 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 specifies a charging time of 120 minutes for the two larger options.

The eCascadia is powered by an e-axle developed in the USA by the Daimler subsidiary Detroit ePowertrain. This electric axle drive is available with a single or dual motor. The variant with one motor has a maximum output of 145 kW, while the dual motor variant can go up to 295 kW. This is the maximum power of the axles, not of the eCascadia: Freightliner specifies a range of 238 to 350 kW.

In the case of US Foods, the battery-electric heavy-duty truck reaches up to 230 miles. It is therefore the variant with the largest battery. The food supplier states 296 kW as the power output. So the one that has already arrived should have said dual motor.

“At US Foods, we are committed to reducing our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 32.5 per cent by 2032, and the deployment of our first zero-emission trucks is a critical step in our long-range plans to achieve this commitment,” expresses Dan Bennett, Vice President of Fleet and Sustainability at US Foods. “Our ongoing investment in alternative fuel vehicles is a testament to our dedication to reducing the environmental footprint of our growing fleet. We are thrilled to celebrate this meaningful milestone as we continue to increase the sustainability of our operations.”

US Foods describes itself as one of America’s largest food companies and a “leading food service distributor”. Based in Rosemont, Illinois, the company has 70 wholesale locations and just over 80 so-called cash-and-carry stores. The company adds that it works with around 250,000 restaurants and food service operators and employs approximately 28,000 employees.


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