Schneider first fleet to cross 1M zero-emission miles with eCascadia

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eCascadia driver at a charging station
Schneider currently operates one of the largest BEV fleets in North America at the company’s Southern California Intermodal Operations Center.

Just three years ago, Schneider National kicked off testing Freightliner's eCascadia in real-world applications. The carrier this week celebrated crossing a milestone that then likely seemed impossible, and even today seems pretty improbable: hauling more than 1 million zero emission miles of customer freight.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based carrier’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) fleet – one of the largest in North America – is based at the company’s Southern California Intermodal Operations Center and features nearly 100 Freightliner eCascadias. The motor carrier in June opened a 4,900-square-foot charging depot about half the size of a football field.

Schneider is already more than halfway to its 2025 goal of reducing per-mile emissions by 7.5%. The company has a goal of a 60% reduction by 2035.

"This milestone is just the first of many," said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke. "We believe in a future where clean technology helps transform the way we move goods and reduces our environmental footprint while still delivering on our promises of efficiency and reliability for customers."

The carrier’s first electric trucks began hauling customer freight for the likes of Goodyear and Frito-Lay North America, among many others, in January. Since then, the fleet has grown to 94 electric vehicles: 92 battery electric trucks and two electric yard spotters. The eCascadias have avoided approximately 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of removing more than 330 gas-powered passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

Schneider worked alongside Freightliner parent Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) every step of the way as the eCascadia evolved, piloting a truck for six months in 2020-2021 through the Freightliner Customer Experience Fleet. 

The South El Monte charging site features 16 350 kW dual-corded dispensers, allowing the carrier to charge 32 trucks simultaneously. The eCascadias achieve an 80% charge within 90 minutes and have a typical driving range of up to approximately 220 miles.

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Funding for the South El Monte site and 50 of Schneider’s 92 eCascadias was made possible by the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), the first battery electric truck project jointly funded by the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission. For the additional 42 trucks outside JETSI, five are jointly funded by the U.S. EPA FY18 Targeted Airshed Grant and Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP), seven are funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, and 30 trucks are funded by HVIP.

To commemorate the 1 million zero emission mile accomplishment, Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke will ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]. 
Hydrogen Fuel Cell & BEV Survey
The following survey was sent as a link in an email cover message in February 2023 to the newsletter lists for Overdrive and CCJ. After approximately two weeks, a total of 176 owner-operators under their own authority, 113 owner-operators leased or assigned to a carrier and 82 fleet executives and 36 fleet employees from fleets with 10 or more power units had completed and submitted the questionnaire for a total of 407 qualified responses. Cross-tabulations based on respondent type are provided for each question when applicable.
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