Loblaw orders electric trucks for B.C. routes

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Loblaw Companies Limited has introduced battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia trucks on routes in British Columbia.

truck in front of grocery store
Loblaw is using Freightliner electric trucks in B.C. (CNW Group/Loblaw Companies Limited)

The company first trialed the eCascadia, built by Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA), in early 2020 as part of Freightliner’s Customer Experience (CX) fleet. Now, Loblaw has placed an initial order for five vehicles to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

Loblaw will continue use the CX fleet eCascadia for the next three months in and around the South Surrey, B.C., area. Typical routes the eCascadia runs include distances between 160 km to 250 km, primarily hauling grocery and other retail products from the company’s distribution centre to stores. Data generated from the daily operations will help inform the development of electric vehicles.

“With approximately 10,000 deliveries to and from our stores each week, we understand the impact our fleet has on the environment. We know that through our own actions, we can play a critical role in helping Canada reach its carbon reduction targets,” said Brian Springer, vice-president, transport operations at Loblaw.

“Over the past few years, we have worked closely with our partners to reach our goal of fully electrifying our corporate fleet by 2030. Our partnership with the Daimler Trucks North America’s eMobility group is an important piece in that overall commitment.”

In January of 2020, Loblaw participated in a demonstration of the eCascadia, loaded to 80,000 pounds of gross weight. Overall impressions were positive, and company executives saw immediate potential for electric vehicle usage in operations. Twenty percent of Loblaw trips run about 150 km from a distribution centre, which easily fits within the production eCascadia’s planned 400-km range capability.

“As always, collaboration with our customers is critical to understanding how commercial battery electric trucks will be part of a long-term solution in CO2-neutral transportation,” said David Carson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Daimler Trucks North America.

“We are excited for Loblaw’s trial and for feedback that aids in the purposeful innovation of our electric vehicles.”