The year 2020 was the initially time that fleets commenced to take delivery of electric powered trucks as portion of pilot programs. Due to the fact we have (someway) already raced earlier the midpoint of 2021, FE checked in with fleets to see how their experiences have been with these trucks how the vans have held up in comparison to their expectation and whether or not they will think about investing even more in electrification, between other burning issues.
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In this entry in the collection, we spoke with Penske Truck Leasing, which has been tests several electric powered vehicles in its fleet, with the Freightliner eCascadia and the Hyliion 6X4HE Class 8 hybrid being among the them.
1: What are the essential lessons you have figured out about operating electric vans?
“Our experience has been great. It has been awesome,” claims Paul Rosa, senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning at Penske. “We understood heading in that we had to find out what the issues were going to be in order to come to feel that we experienced a productive, effortless working experience with the new technology. It simply cannot all go perfectly, so you have to uncover the trouble places.
“The critical thing we experienced to do is set the trucks in all distinct styles of routes, due to the fact you don’t want to just exam the identical route or the very same sort of routes all the time you want to enterprise out.”
Rosa states Penske examined routes with numerous quantities of stops, heavier and lighter hundreds, and various other changes to take a look at the vehicles’ capabilities and variety.
“One of the motor vehicles can go out with only half the variety employed and then occur again with 50% condition of cost and see how speedy that one billed up,” he shares as an example. “The applications are abundant, and we retain assessing different ones as we set extra models with unique customers or the very same unit with new buyers. It is all above the board. We have to fully grasp all apps or as finest we can, offered the engineering as it sits today.
“So we go out to the max assortment that it can do—for this instance, we’ll just say it’s 150 miles—we’ll have units likely out 150 miles, some going out 130, some heading out 100, some heading out 80. Then we swap up and we have them likely into diverse topographies, various spots exactly where there are increased hills and so on with the exact variety.”
2: How have the trucks done in comparison to anticipations?
“You usually get excited and hope that a new technological know-how is likely to be greater than what you have now. Proper? So our expectations heading in were that an electrical automobile was heading to existing much better than ICE [internal combustion engine],” Rosa responses.
He adds that those expectations were being exceeded.
“Even the prototype models and then the next technology or the very first pre-creation units are still undertaking really, incredibly effectively when compared to ICE, which exceeds our expectation,” Rosa elaborates. “So I’m pretty pleased with the place we are in our total evaluation undertaking, the way that the trucks have executed from a electricity standpoint, from a driver comfort standpoint, from how silent they are. Individuals are the anticipations that have been past what we thought. We just desired it to conduct underneath the purposes that it is ordinarily in, if it was a diesel device or fuel device, and people ended up satisfied correct out of the gate, and then you get into all these other benefits. I’m very satisfied with where by we are with the current version of the equipment.”
Rosa goes on to highlight the worth of trying to keep drivers content, and claims the electric vehicles can reach this intention.
“You get driver retention when you make their driving ecosystem better—whether it be just in the cab, their consolation, their health, all these items blended up in one particular. These cars are smoother, less complicated and quieter to drive. I can go on and on and on about all the positive aspects that the motorists had. So it’s seriously going to help the driver, which I imagine is really crucial.”
3: How has the charging knowledge been?
“You have to operate on your infrastructure understanding the truck is heading to be numerous months out,” Penske’s Rosa advises. “We put in our infrastructure back in 2018 to ‘19.”
You never know, Rosa claims, how extensive this equipment will take to get there and be installed—just glance at what’s likely on right now with the microchip lack and its effect on producing, for example.
“What people also really do not notice is what you have to go by just to get well prepared to put in the infrastructure. You have obtained to get the job done with your local municipality to get the permits. You have acquired to function with utility firms to get the web-site assessed to see if it even has the capacity of the electrical power that you require. So there are so several matters that have to line up for anyone to even get infrastructure commenced.”
4: Have you been persuaded to devote further in electric vehicles?
The fleets interviewed for this collection were unanimous in their enthusiasm for ongoing financial commitment in EVs. Rosa describes Penske as “all in.”
“We’re going to do this,” he states. “We’re heading to do this as speedy as we can, the place it tends to make perception, when it helps make perception, simply because it is what we have to have to do as a business, it’s what we wish to do for the ecosystem. And it’s what our prospects that lease autos from us want as perfectly.
“So we have obtained to be well prepared. We’ve obtained to get additional of our destinations all set with infrastructure. We’re having additional vehicles. We’re likely to have to have the infrastructure there to support them. We don’t have a decision at this issue. We are in the recreation, the match has commenced and the clock is going rapidly. So we have nothing but to shift forward as rapidly as we can. So there’s nothing at all holding us again. We’re completely ready to go.”
Previously in this collection: 6 electric truck issues with DHE
Five electrical truck issues with Schneider