Late last year, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) delivered the first vehicle in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet – a Freightliner eM2 – to Penske Truck Leasing, making good on its promise to put an electric commercial truck in customer hands in 2018. The Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet is partially funded with a nearly $16M grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District  SCAQMD. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach also contributed to the grant.

As the first step in its infrastructure deployment, Penske Truck Leasing will install 20 high-power charging stations across five of its California locations. During 2019, Penske will put an additional nine medium-duty electric eM2 trucks and 10 heavy-duty eCascadia electric trucks into targeted service in California and the Pacific Northwest. Penske will place the electric vehicles into service within its logistics, truck leasing and truck rental fleets.

The Freightliner eM2 truck is an electrified solution for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile logistics applications. The Freightliner eCascadia is a Class 8 tractor designed for local and regional distribution and drayage. Both trucks enter series production in 2021. The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative, joining the company’s Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner eC2 school bus, the FUSO eCanter, and the Mercedes-Benz eActros.

Earlier in 2018, DTNA formed the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council composed of 30 customers with strong use-cases for electric trucks, including Penske Truck Leasing, to further drive its sustainable transportation program. The company said it is working with the council members to ensure a holistic approach to launching electric trucks. Members of the customer council benefit from co-development of deployment strategies for battery electric vehicles including applicable use cases, current legislation and requirements for facilities, charging infrastructure and service support.