The first five Navistar International medium-duty battery-electric trucks (BETs) will go to Penske Truck Leasing, a customer with a track record of early adoption of new technology, Navistar said Monday.
Penske received 20 Class 8 Freightliner eCascadias Class 8 and Class 6 eM2 BETs in 2019. It has used them on local and regional deliveries in Southern California, contributing to Daimler Trucks North America’s recent milestone of 1 million real-world miles of electric driving.
Penske Truck Leasing also received three Class 8 diesel-electric hybrid trucks from startup Hyliion Holdings in February 2020.
Navistar revealed the production version of the eMV Series at the recent Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California. The first trucks are being built on the same line as diesel-powered models at a plant in Escobedo, Mexico. The eMV will be the first truck produced at Navistar’s new plant in San Antonio opening in spring 2022.
“This is truly a first step in our collective journey to grow the fleet of zero-emissions vehicles,” Dan Kayser, Navistar group vice president of national accounts, said in a press release.
Penske as validator
Penske is a validation partner for the eMV Series, which it plans to operate at various locations to evaluate real-world operations. Penske operates six heavy-duty electric charging stations with a total of 21 chargers in Southern California.
“Our organization is committed to evaluating and providing real-world feedback to further advance and serve our customers,” said Paul Rosa, Penske Truck Leasing senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning.
Navistar, recently acquired by Volkswagen AG’s Traton Group, is now part of a truck holding group that has pledged to reduce conventional diesel efforts by more than 80% by 2025. It announced a $1.85 billion investment in e-mobility in March with practically all associated research and development going to battery-electric efforts.
Navistar trails DTNA, Volvo Trucks North America, Mack Trucks and Paccar Inc. siblings Kenworth and Peterbilt in bringing BETs to market.