Commercial trucking has emerged as the focus for the makers of electric vehicles with manufacturers such as Volkswagen’s truck subsidiary, Traton, as well as Volvo Truck and Tesla promising to deliver freight hauling EVs to customers around the world who are under pressure to scrap their diesel-powered rigs.
Meanwhile Daimler Truck North America reached a deal to sell hundreds of big all-electric trucks to a major customer: Sysco Corp.
Sysco is a leading U.S. foodservice distribution company and signed a letter of intent to purchase up to nearly 800 battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 tractors by 2026, according to Daimler Truck North America.
Trucks are coming
The first eCascadia delivery is expected to arrive at Sysco’s Riverside, California site east of Los Angeles, later this year, Daimler said.
Sysco employs more than 58,000 associates, and it operates 343 distribution facilities worldwide, serving more than 650,000 customer locations.
The distribution company aims to power more of its tractor fleet with alternative fuels, and the deployment of Freightliner eCascadias with refrigerated trailers will play a significant role in achieving its goal to electrify 35% of its U.S. fleet by 2030, officials said.
Daimler truck offers advantages
Daimler Truck said after well over 1 million miles of testing in daily customer operations, Daimler Truck and its U.S. Freightliner brand recently announced it would begin series production of the eCascadia.
The eCascadia is built on the best-selling heavy-duty truck platform in North America, the Cascadia, and the new battery-electric Freightliner provides customers with a zero-emission version of the rig.
Daimler Truck says its EV rigs offer a number of benefits, including lower charging costs and longer service intervals. The battery electric trucks are also quieter, which means less driver fatigue and potentially fewer accidents and the trucks also have more torque so they get up to highway speed quicker and more easily.