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Retailer Meijer demonstrates Freightliner electric Class 8 trucks in frigid Michigan winter

Meijer, a Michigan-based retailer with 499 stores in six Midwestern states, operates a fleet of 250 semitrucks. The company has deployed two Freightliner eCascadia electric semitrucks, and is tracking their performance in a cold-weather environment as part of a DOE-funded project.

The two semis will operate out of the retailer’s Lansing Distribution Center, which is equipped with custom charging infrastructure. They will make multiple deliveries daily to Meijer supercenters within a 200-mile range of the depot.

Meijer celebrated the arrival of its new e-trucks by delivering a donation of 44,000 pounds of food to Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Daimler execs were on hand for the delivery ceremony.

“We applaud Meijer’s efforts to improve our planet while providing thousands of pounds of nutritious food for households that are struggling right now,” said Gleaners CEO Gerry Brisson.

Meijer became a test fleet for Freightliner in 2009, and was selected to test the manufacturer’s battery electric semitrucks in 2019. Meijer’s trucks were partially funded by a grant to Daimler from the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office geared toward the demonstration of commercial electric trucks under diverse climate conditions. Meijer will monitor the temperature impact on mileage, charge times, battery life optimization and driver comfort on a daily basis.

Freightliner’s new battery electric eCascadia is suited for short-haul routes that allow for depot-based charging. With a maximum battery capacity of 440 kWh, the eCascadia can recharge to 80 percent of capacity in approximately 90 minutes.

“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,” said Mike Graham, Senior VP of Supply Chain and Manufacturing at Meijer. “We’re pleased to work with Freightliner to further put the eCascadia tractors into real-world applications outside of southern California.”

Source: Meijer via Transport Dive

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