Meijer deployed two all-electric Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia trucks, and will track the performance of the trucks in a cold weather environment as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Meijer — a 2022 HDT Green Fleet — received the battery-electric trucks earlier this month and celebrated its inaugural delivery on Dec. 15 with a more than 44,000-pound food delivery and donation to Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit.
The trucks will operate out of the retailer’s Lansing Distribution Center, which is now equipped with specific charging infrastructure. They will make multiple deliveries daily to Meijer supercenters within a 200-mile trip range of the distribution center.
Meijer became a test fleet for Freightliner in 2009 and was selected in 2019 to test the manufacturer’s battery-electric trucks. After a successful conclusion of testing and integration of customer feedback in the design and development process, Freightliner is now rolling out the series produced battery-electric truck to customers, including Meijer that received the first delivery.
The retailer’s trucks were partially funded by a grant to Daimler Truck North America from the DOE’s vehicle technologies office geared toward the demonstration of battery-electric commercial trucks under diverse climate conditions. Meijer will continue reviewing data daily for temperature impact on mileage, charge times, battery life optimization and driver comfort.
“Through this partnership, we can help accelerate the industry’s transformation to electrification by applying valuable insights from data collected and real-world applications in a cold climate environment and make a meaningful difference when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mike Graham, senior vice president of supply chain and manufacturing for Meijer. “We’re pleased to work with Freightliner to further put the eCascadia tractors into real-world applications outside of southern California as we look for solutions to achieve zero emissions.”
The Freightliner eCascadia is the zero-emission version of the Cascadia and is ideally suited for short-haul routes that allow for depot-based charging. It provides a typical range of 230 miles, depending on vehicle configurations. A maximum battery capacity of almost 440 kilowatt hours can recharge 80% of the truck in approximately 90 minutes.
The 82,000-pound (GCW) truck comes standard with Detroit Assurance with active brake assist and active side guard assist. The side guard assist engages at urban speeds of 12 mph or less to mitigate the truck from making a right turn when a moving cyclist or pedestrian is detected on the passenger side of the truck.