Run on Less-Electric Depot Study featuring some of Nation's top Trucking Fleets

April 26, 2023
Participating commercial fleets are Frito-Lay in Queens, New York; OKProduce in Fresno; Penske in Ontario; Pepsi Beverages in Sacramento; Performance Team Logistics in Commerce; Schneider trucking in South El Monte; UPS in Compton and WattEV in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif—Eight commercial fleet depots representing some of the nation’s top retail and logistics firms will participate in a study on scaling up fleet electrification in the future.

The Run on Less—Electric Depot (RoL-E DEPOT) program, led by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) will study the impact of larger-scale electric truck adoption across a variety of market segments. The program will seek to understand what it takes to transition from fossil-fueled vehicles and the impact of moving a fleet from one or two electrics to 15 and more.

The company fleet depots participating in the study include a cross-section of commercial and industrial sectors in the U.S. Those depots, all based in California except for the first one, are Frito-Lay in Queens, New York; OKProduce in Fresno; Penske in Ontario; Pepsi Beverages in Sacramento; Performance Team Logistics in Commerce; Schneider trucking in South El Monte; UPS in Compton and WattEV in Long Beach.

“We are excited to have these fleets in RoL-E DEPOT and look forward to sharing information on charging infrastructure, engagement with utilities, total cost of ownership management, truck performance, driver and technician training, charge management, and more to help the entire industry move to a cleaner freight future,” Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, said in a statement.

NACFE is working with Endeavor’s own T&D World and Fleet Owner magazines to create a special series of sessions on fleet electrification happening on the first day of events at T&D World Live, which is Sept. 12-14 at the Sacramento Community Center. This one-day “mini-event,” called Commercial Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference (CEVIC) will occur on Monday, Sept. 12 and will include NACFE’s Mike Roeth and other speakers from International Council on Clean Transportation, some of the biggest fleet companies and commercial transporters in North America, electric utilities and regulatory agencies. (EnergyTech also is part of Endeavor Business Media).

T&D World Live in Sacramento: Grid Transformation for an Electrified World

Read about last year's NACFE report on Fleet Electrification at the first T&D World Conference

The overall work by NACFE, RMI and participating fleets is part of the Run for Less program looking at how electrification can make transportation more energy and cost efficient. The three-week Run for Less series, running concurrently through T&D World Live and beyond, will reveal and share best practices for scaling heavy-duty electric trucks at depots.

“Our goal with this event was to showcase fleets that are now deploying 15 or more trucks,” said Dave Schaller, NACFE’s director of industry engagement. “The reality is that, at this point, the majority of fleets with 15 or more electric trucks are in California, but we believe they are a good representation of the benefits and challenges of deploying electric vehicles at scale.”

Last year in Charlotte, Schaller spoke at the inaugural T&D World event and underlined the biggest challenges to fleet electrification, including the early steps of communication between electric utilities and fleet owners. Future adoption of EVs rests on adequate infrastructure and grid resiliency issues as much as fleet goals for decarbonization and eventual fuel cost savings.

“The use cases show that box trucks, terminal trucks and step vans are ready,” Schaller said at the Charlotte event. “Long haul and regional haul not so much.”

For full-on adoption, the fleet industry and utilities still need to get off the sideline and dance.

“Very strategic questions need to be asked,” Schaller noted.

The upcoming CEVIC’s purpose is to provide the space where the dancing can begin. Details about CEVIC will soon be available on the T&D World Conference and Exhibition website at 

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.