Supply chain solution provider NFI Industries is expanding its fleet of Class 8 battery-electric trucks in Southern California as part of the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI) project. NFI will operate 30 Freightliner eCascadias and 20 Volvo VNR Electric trucks from its Ontario, California, warehouse facility to support its port drayage services.
“NFI has worked closely with its OEM partners—Volvo Trucks and Daimler Truck—during the last several years to put battery-electric trucks to the test on our routes across Southern California,” said NFI CEO Sid Brown. “By the end of this year, we will have 100 Class 8 battery-electric trucks dedicated to port drayage.”
NFI Industries (not to be confused with the NFI Group, a bus manufacturer) has a company-owned fleet of more than 5,000 tractors and 14,300 trailers. The company has participated in several electric truck demonstration projects since 2018, including Volvo’s LIGHTS, Daimler Truck’s Innovation Fleet, and the Switch-On project. NFI’s demonstration fleet of Freightliner eCascadias, Volvo VNR Electrics and electric yard tractors has traveled more than 1.5 million miles to date, avoiding an estimated 225,933 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.
The various projects have helped NFI determine which routes are optimal for electric trucks, based on the number of stops, topography, traffic patterns and the freight being transported. NFI has collaborated with Volvo and Daimler to configure trucks based on its operational needs, and to train its drivers on how to maximize range.
“The team at NFI has been working hand-in-hand with Volvo Trucks’ engineering team and local dealer partner, TEC Equipment, to validate and configure our commercial Volvo VNR Electric model to successfully run NFI’s drayage routes,” said Peter Voorhoeve, President, Volvo Trucks North America.
“By working with the NFI team as part of Daimler Truck’s Innovation Fleet, our team has gained incredible insight into the necessary steps needed to successfully deploy battery-electric trucks into freight movement operations,” said David Carson, Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, Daimler Truck North America. “We’ve been able to see firsthand the processes and stakeholders required to install the charging infrastructure to support the trucks.”
To install charging infrastructure to support its growing electric fleet, NFI is working with Southern California Edison, Electrify Commercial, and the City of Ontario to upgrade its facility’s power supply and install 19 350 kW power cabinets, with 38 EV charging points. The company expects its Ontario charging infrastructure to be installed and energized by the end of 2023.