Southern California Edison (SCE) has become the first utility to test the all-electric Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 semi truck, envisioned for production in mid-2022.

SCE, which operates more than 6,200 vehicles, will use one of the pre-production prototypes from the Freightliner Customer Experience (CX) Fleet, over a three-month period "for material transport, moving heavy equipment like transformers, wire reels and switch gears from an Irwindale, California warehouse to SCE service centers and storage yards".

Freightliner eCascadia
Freightliner eCascadia

"Freightliner’s CX Fleet is comprised of eight early series development trucks meant to test the integration of battery-electric vehicles into large-scale fleet operations. Feedback from Freightliner customers will help fine-tune final driving parameters like battery management software. Early examples of customer-driven eCascadia design include charging port placement on the truck, human-machine interface (HMI) controls and more."

Earlier this month, Freightliner announced that its EV test fleet (currently consisting 38 eCascadia and eM2) surpassed 500,000 miles (800,000 km) in real-world use.

The manufacturer makes the trucks available for some of the largest private and for-hire fleets in North America, hoping that they will help to improve the vehicles as well as get themselves familiarized with EVs and place orders at some point in the future.

Gallery: Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner eCascadia (Class 8 tractor) specs:

  • up to 250 miles (400 km) of range
  • 550 kWh usable battery capacity
  • up to 730 peak horsepower
  • ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes
  • 80,000 lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR)
  • designed for local and regional distribution and drayage
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