Daimler Trucks North America is set to deliver the first two battery electric-powered Class 8 eCascadia trucks to operations in Southern California. Daimler hands off the trucks at the end of August.
Both trucks belong to a 30-unit test fleet partially funded by a $16 million grant. South Coast Air Quality Management District gifted the donation.
“As we work towards meeting air quality standards, it is imperative that truck manufacturers accelerate the commercialization of these technologies that will help clean out our air and protect public health,” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Currently, around a million heavy-duty diesel trucks are active in California. This is a small amount of the total vehicles on the road. Nevertheless, diesel trucks account for nearly 60 percent of the smog-forming nitrogen oxide. Additionally, they’re responsible for 80 percent of the soot. These figures are according to state regulators.
The new battery electric trucks
Daimler constructed the two new Freightliner trucks at its research and development center located in Portland. Furthermore, they are building eCascadia and medium-duty Freightliner eM2 trucks intended for regional haul and drayage use at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. In fact, they’ve scheduled series production to begin in late 2021.
Daimler constructed the eCascadia model on the same principles of the Freightliner Cascadia, which is the most popular Class 8 heavy-duty truck on the market. The initial Freightliner eM2 started drayage operation at the beginning of this year. It’s part of the Penske Truck Leasing fleet.
The Daimler Corporation is hoping the real-world use of the trucks along with feedback from its 38-member Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council will help figure out the ideal path to charging infrastructure. They’re also looking for insight into partnerships with other players in the e-mobility value chain.
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