Meijer is deploying two all-electric semitrucks into its daily fleet, operating out of a distribution center in Lansing, Michigan.
The retailer will track the two Freightliner eCascadia trucks’ use in cold weather as part of a grant from the Department of Energy, the company said in a press release.
Meijer received the electric trucks earlier this month, which were partially paid for through the grant.
The eCascadias will make multiple daily deliveries to Meijer’s store network within a 200-mile radius of the Lansing distribution center.
Meijer operates 499 stores across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, a region of the country prone to extreme cold and snow during the winter months. Its fleet of 250 trucks delivers products from distribution centers to its store network.
Meijer became a test fleet for Freightliner in 2009 and was selected in 2019 to test the manufacturer's battery electric semitrucks. Freightliner is shipping its eCascadia series truck to customers now, which included Meijer’s two trucks as the first delivery, according to the release.
The retailer will monitor truck data daily for the impact cold temperatures have on mileage, charging times, battery life optimization and driver comfort. Winter driving conditions and cold temperatures can impact an all-electric vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 40%, according to the Department of Energy.
Freightliner's eCascadia truck is suited for short-haul routes that allow for depot-based charging, Meijer said in the release. Initial tests found the trucks delivered a typical range of up to 230 miles and a battery capacity of almost 440 kWh could recharge up to 80% of power in approximately 90 minutes.