In 2019, Roger Nielsen, President & CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), stated that the “future is electric.” In 2020, Freightliner’s Innovation Fleet has accumulated more than 300,000 miles (482,803 km) in real‐world use by customers.
The Innovation Fleet is a 30‐vehicle fleet of battery electric medium‐ and heavy‐duty trucks. Its purpose is to test integration of the technology into large‐scale commercial transportation operations.
“Co‐creation with our customers is a cornerstone of Freightliner’s unique approach to the market,” said Richard Howard, Senior V.P On‐Highway Sales and Marketing for DTNA.
“The knowledge and expertise our logistics customers have in fleet operations with their thousands of trucks is invaluable as we design and engineer the zero emissions future of the commercial vehicle. Crossing the threshold of 300,000 miles of testing, then one million miles, then more ‐ together ‐ before we begin series production of battery electric trucks will ensure we deliver the performance and reliability our customers count on and which has made Freightliner the undisputed leader in commercial trucks.”
The fleet includes 10 eM2s and 20 eCascadias testing in a variety of applications. Including drayage, regional and local delivery, food distribution, and parcel delivery. Most of the trucks in DTNA’s battery-electric vehicle (BEV) fleet are running 250 to 325 kilometres a day.
The near 500,000 local emissions‐free kilometres logged by the fleet represent the equivalent mileage to complete:
- 41 trips to travel to all 10 DTNA parts distribution centre located in North America.
- 12 trips to circle the globe.
Future is electric
According to Nielsen, they are “roughly on schedule”. Regarding the next versions, “there’s still a lot of testing between now and then.”
“The adoption of battery-electric vehicles isn’t going to happen by showing a few renderings and concepts,” he said. “It’s putting these trucks into real operations. What are the fears of the driver, what is their range anxiety tolerance? All those things you can’t get with a professional test driver.”