PepsiCo Tesla Semi

NACFE kicks off Run on Less–Electric DEPOT

Sept. 11, 2023
Many questions will be answered in the next 19 days as 10 electric truck early adopters open their terminal doors—and metrics—to NACFE and the world.

What does it take for carriers to transition to commercial electric vehicles (CEVs) in the real world? How can swap fuel tanks for giant, heavy battery packs and still get freight to their customers on time? And will the benefits, such as eschewing aftertreatment systems, outweigh the obstacles, which include adding and operating charging stations?

On Sept. 11, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency set out to better answer these common questions regarding electrification with the start of Run on Less – Electric DEPOT.

The fourth Run on Less event will spend 19 days collecting and analyzing the performance of 21 electric trucks operating out of 10 depots across the U.S. and Canada. According to NACFE, the early adopter fleets participating in the latest ROL will provide information on charging infrastructure, engagement with utility companies, total cost of ownership, management, truck performance, driver and technician training, charge management, and more.

The participating fleet depots and trucks include:
•    Frito-Lay’s Queens depot: Two Ford E-Transit vans will be tracked as they execute urban deliveries in the busy New York City.
•    OK Produce in Fresno, California: A Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia and Orange electric terminal truck will be tracked in local fruit and vegetable deliveries and terminal tractor applications.
•    Penske’s Ontario, California location: Light, medium, and heavy duty are represented here, in the form of a GM BrightDrop delivery van, a Navistar eMV, and a Freightliner eCascadia
•    PepsiCo’s Sacramento depot: Two of the beverage company’s 21 Tesla Semis will be tracked in heavy-load long-haul transport operations.
•    Performance Team’s Commerce, California, location: Two heavy electric Volvo VNR tractors will be tracked conducting short-haul routes.
•    Purolator’s Richmond, British Columbia, hub: A Class 6 Motiv step van and a Ford E-Transit will be tracked in business and residential package delivery.
•    Schneider’s new South El Monte, California, location: Two Freightliner eCascadias, operating in slip-seated drayage uses, will be tracked.
•    UPS in Compton, California: A Freightliner Custom Chassis MT50e last-mile step van and a heavy Freightliner eCascadia in a middle-mile duty cycle will both be tracked.
•    US Foods in La Mirada, California: Two Freightliner eCascadias will be tracked on their food-delivery routes.
•    WattEV’s Long Beach, California, location: A BYD 8TT tractor and a Nikola Tre BEV tractor operating at the Port of Long Beach will be tracked.

By looking at how fleets experienced with EVs operate, NACFE hopes to educate all fleets on electrification’s positives and negatives. Because whether fleets want to or not, environmental and regulatory pressures will push them to become carbon-neutral.
“As trucking works on decarbonizing, fleets are investing in more electric vehicles at their depots which brings with it many benefits but also some challenges, especially around infrastructure and charging,” noted Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director. “Yet leading fleets are tackling those challenges and are giving us access to their operations so we can share what they are learning with the rest of the industry.”

The selected CEVs run the gamut of GVWR and duty cycle, ranging from the Ford E-Transit vans to the Tesla Semi. ROL – Electric Depot all involves several of North America’s leading logistics carriers, including Penske and UPS, as well as the 2nd largest private fleet, PepsiCo.

The metrics gleaned from the real-world study will be released daily, with videos routinely being posted as well Roeth said.
NACFE vetted all 10 depots over the summer, conducting 122 interviews to better understand those depots operations.

Fleets and transportation industry stakeholders can also bone up on electrification insights for free via NACFE’s 10-session educational series, Electric Depot Bootcamp.

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