Black Horse Carriers has joined Penske Truck Leasing’s electric vehicle program. The companies have come together to launch a battery electric Freightliner eCascadia into the Black Horse Carriers regular operation.
The dedicated fleet services company uses the Penske-maintained EV truck throughout Southern California to deliver product to 78 stores for a major grocery chain, the company says.
“We are rolling these electric units out to customers more quickly and efficiently now that we have some experience under our belts,” says Paul Rosa, senior vice president, procurement and fleet planning, Penske Truck Leasing. “Our mission is to continue to put these innovative units in the hands of customers who have the right use cases so we can learn together and continue to promote sustainability in the form of electrification.”
The electric truck runs six days a week with four delivery points per day. Integration into the fleet was seamless and feedback from drivers has been positive, as these tractors are extremely quiet, yet powerful, the company says.
“We’re excited to add electric vehicles to our fleet,” says Brad Kacsh, fleet manager, Black Horse Carriers. “Whether it’s the latest safety technology, improving the driver experience, or reducing our carbon footprint, building an innovative fleet is part of the Black Horse culture. We’re thrilled to be running this tractor and the feedback from our field has been excellent.”
In 2018, Penske Truck Leasing and Daimler Trucks North America announced a partnership to test commercial electric trucks from their Freightliner brand in real-world situations and drive future improvements to the technology. In August 2019, Penske received the first eCascadia from the truck manufacturer. Just a few months later, Penske announced that it hit the 10,000 mile mark with the first eCascadia the company deployed.
The venture is supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), whose $16.8 million grant helped fund the program. South Coast AQMD focuses on improving air quality in large portions of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including the Coachella Valley.
The electric truck fleet is supported by a network of heavy-duty electric vehicle charging stations at six Penske Truck Leasing facilities in Southern California. Penske also performs preventive maintenance at these locations.