Schneider opens depot that can charge 32 electric trucks at once

As freight logistics specialist Schneider National continues to electrify its fleet of regional and long-haul trucks, it decided to take charging into its own hands… at least in Southern California. The company just opened a new depot about half the size of a football field, capable of charging over 30 electric trucks simultaneously.

You may not be engulfed in the world of intermodal and logistics services, but you’ve probably seen a bright orange Schneider ($SNDR) truck on the highway at some point. The company has over 85 years in transportation, generating over $6.6 billion in revenue each year.

It stays ahead by implementing new technologies like its FreightPower digital marketplace – a holistic system of tools that help shippers and carriers coordinate and stay seamlessly connected. Another way Schneider has been advancing its internal technologies is by adopting electric trucks – particularly the eCascadia from Daimler Trucks-owned Freightliner.

Schneider actually worked alongside Daimler Trucks North America to pilot the early eCascadia trucks through 2019 and 2020, which has led to its current fleet that is expanding to nearly 100 vehicles this year. With a growing number of electric trucks hitting the road, Schneider has implemented bolstered charging to support them.

electric truck charging
One of many Freightliner eCascadia electric trucks operated by Schneider / Credit: Schneider

Schneider opens 350 kW electric truck charging depot

Today, Scheider National announced the official completion of its new electric truck charging depot at its South El Monte Intermodal Operations Center, about 17 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The new site will be a charging hub for the company’s aforementioned fleet of eCascadia electric trucks, which is expected to become one of the largest in North America soon.

To support these growing numbers, Schneider has implemented sixteen dual-port, 350kW-charger piles, offering the ability to charge up to 32 trucks at once. Schneider says the eCascadia electric trucks, in particular, offer charging speeds from 10-80% in 90 minutes and offer a range of up to 220 miles.

Schneider president and CEO Mark Rourke spoke to the decision by the company to erect an electric charging depot of its own and explained what it took to get to today’s opening:

Schneider decided to lead the way by building our own depot in South El Monte. 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 depot in South El Monte was made possible through funding from the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI) – in which state and local agencies offer grant assistance to expedite the adoption of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks on roads. Schneider said it also collaborated with sustainable construction company Black & Veatch to build the site efficiently.

Schneider states that its electric trucks have already been hauling cargo for companies like Frito-Lay North America and Goodyear and that funding for 50 of the 92 eCascadia trucks on order from Freightliner was made possible by JETSI, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC).

When fully operational, Schneider expects its electric trucks to alleviate more than 81,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per day, equivalent to 2,400 fewer combustion cars on the road.

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