50 class 8 electric trucks delivered for NFI in California

In California, the use of heavy-duty electric trucks has taken another major step forward. The logistics company NFI has taken delivery of 50 new electric trucks. The purchase of electric trucks and provision of suitable charging infrastructure is embedded in the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI).

Image: NFI

The North American supply chain solutions provider NFI has deployed 50 heavy-duty electric trucks on Californian roads. The project was first announced in 2021, with the first order of 50 class 8 electric trucks from Daimler and Volvo, as well as charging infrastructure to be provided by Electrify America.

NFI has now received the 50 battery-electric trucks for drayage tasks from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The 30 Freightliner eCascadia and 20 Volvo VNR Electric trucks are to be stationed at NFI’s base in Ontario, California and transport containers between the ports and NFI’s Ontario facility.

The routes from Ontario to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach involve drayage operations delivering products to warehouses in Southern California. Customers are varied, spanning from manufacturing to retail. Each of the Freightliner eCascadia and Volvo VNR Electric trucks will now be running two port pickups per day. NFI says this constitutes an average of 220 miles driven between charging stops.

The fast-charging infrastructure at NFI’s headquarters comes from Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America in collaboration with Southern California Edison. The charging facilities are comprised of 7 megawatts of total power distributed across a total of 38 chargers.

Later this year, NFI says it will further cooperate with Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America to couple approximately 1 MW of solar with nearly 8 MWh of on-site battery storage. This should enable NFI to reduce its utility load during peak time-of-use energy prices and strengthen resiliency from grid outages by using the microgrid functionality with the co-deployment of solar power and battery storage.

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.

The Volvo VNR Electric is one of six all-electric heavy-duty truck models from Volvo Trucks developed specifically for the North American market. Customers were able to place their first orders for the predecessor model in December 2020, and production started in the second quarter of 2021 at the company’s New River Valley production plant in Dublin, Virginia.

The NFI electric truck project was awarded $27 million by JETSI, which is the first battery-electric truck project jointly funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC). 

Besides the electric truck fleet now gracing Californian roads, the JETSI project has also enabled the logistics company Schneider to deploy 50 Freightliner eCascadia electric trucks, which were delivered just last month.

The acquisition of heavy-duty electric trucks is part of the JETSI initiative to deploy 100 Class 8 battery-electric trucks operated by NFI and Schneider across Southern California. The project can now demonstrate strategies to successfully scale market penetration of zero-emission technologies. Beyond the trucks supported by JETSI, both Schneider and NFI have purchased additional electric trucks to expand their overall fleets.

nfiindustries.com, .jetsiproject.com, electrifyamerica.com


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