Schneider Trucking opens Charging Depot for Battery Electric Freightliners

June 9, 2023
The charging site spans over half the size of a football field and features 16 dual-corded dispensers with a power output of 350 kW each, allowing for the simultaneous charging of 32 trucks

Transportation and logistics services provider Schneider National has announced the completion of an electric charging depot at its South El Monte Intermodal Operations Center in Southern California.

According to the company, the depot is located in the metro Los Angeles area and will support its battery electric truck (BET) fleet, which is expected to include nearly 100 Freightliner eCascadias by the end of the year.

The charging site spans over half the size of a football field and features 16 dual-corded dispensers with a power output of 350 kW each, allowing for the simultaneous charging of 32 trucks. The eCascadias, which have a range of about 220 miles, will be able to achieve an 80 percent charge within 90 minutes, the company says.

“Schneider decided to lead the way by building our own depot in South El Monte," said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke. “It was important to develop onsite charging because it is the most efficient solution to power our growing electric fleet. With the infrastructure deficiency, we found that we needed to collaborate with a wide array of experts to see our vision come to fruition.”

The 4,900-square-foot charging depot secured funding through the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), which is the first battery electric truck project jointly funded by the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission. Schneider partnered with companies like Black & Veatch, a clean transportation engineering and construction firm, to construct the charging site.

JETSI also awarded $27 million to fund 50 of Schneider’s 92 BETs. Additional funding was provided by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Port of Los Angeles, and Southern California Edison.

The JETSI project is part of California Climate Investments, an initiative that utilizes cap-and-trade funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost the economy, and improve public health and the environment, especially in disadvantaged communities.

For the remaining 42 trucks not covered by JETSI, five received joint funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s FY18 Targeted Airshed Grant and the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP), seven were funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, and 30 trucks were funded by HVIP.

Schneider worked closely with Daimler Truck North America during the development of the eCascadia. It piloted a truck from Freightliner's Customer Experience fleet for six months in 2019-2020, gathering feedback from drivers and the equipment team. This collaboration contributed to the production of the BET that is currently part of Schneider’s fleet.

Schneider has received approximately one-third of its expected fleet so far. It has also commenced deliveries for Goodyear and Frito-Lay North America using the eCascadias.

Once fully operational, the 92 BETs are expected to help avoid over 81,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per day, which is equivalent to removing 2,400 gas-powered cars from the road. Schneider aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 7.5 percent per mile by 2025 and 60 percent per mile by 2035. 

Schneider is one of 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.

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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.

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 the 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).