A row of zero-emission Purolator delivery vans.
The Purolator depot in Richmond, B.C., is the sole Canadian participant and one of 10 depots in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) Run on Less – Electric Depot demo. Photo: Purolator

Results from week one of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s three-week Run on Less – Electric Depot demonstration show the electrification potential of small and large depots alike

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has released early findings from its latest demonstration event and, so far, it spells good news for fleet electrification.

A third of the data is now in from the three-week Run on Less — Electric (ROL-E) Depot demo, which kicked off Sept. 11. NACFE says the results indicate it is possible, today, for all small depots and some large ones to go electric.

“The electrification of large depots is more realistic than we originally thought,” says Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director.

“The data collection is going well. We used this data…to identify the current state of electric trucking and areas where we can expedite improvements to the known challenges.”

NACFE partners with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to host the Run on Less demonstrations, held every other year since 2017.

The 2023 ROL-E Depot runs until Sept. 28.

Electrification by the numbers

The ROL-E Depot demonstration has 10 depot participants from Canada and the U.S. There are running a variety of delivery vehicles from BrightDrops to Motivs to Tesla Semis.

The vast majority of depots are located in California. One is in New York and the other in Richmond, B.C.

The vehicles are running short- and long-haul routes in a variety of use-cases. Some of the key findings from the pre-demonstration bootcamp and the first half of the demonstration itself show:

  • Small depots are ready for electrification now and electrification at large depots is becoming more possible.
  • Fleets are charging many trucks with a few chargers (US Foods is operating 15 heavy-duty tractors with five portable chargers).
  • It takes from 12 to 36 months for infrastructure implementation.
  • There is a significant amount of electricity needed for large heavy-duty trucks. Schneider’s South El Monte depot would use 40.2 MWh/day if it were 100 per cent electric — the highest daily energy demand projected.
  • The Tesla Semis at PepsiCo’s Sacramento beverages depot have completed 384 miles on a single charge and 806 miles in a single 24-hour day, enabled by fast 750 kW charging.
  • Some Class 8 tractors are demonstrating range at double that of the trucks that took part in Run on Less – Electric in 2021. There is better efficiency, including optimizing regenerative braking and return-to-base charging during single driver shifts. This has occurred consistently at OK Produce, Penske, Performance Team, PepsiCo and Schneider.

Canadian participation and results

The Purolator depot in Richmond, B.C., is the sole Canadian participant in ROL-E Depot.

Purolator has 17 electric vans and step vans in its current fleet at the Richmond location. It powers them using 15 Level 2 chargers with overhead connectors.

Purolator is running two vehicles — a Class 2 Ford eTransit and a Class 6 Motiv step van — in ROL-E Depot.

Through the end of Day 7, the eTransit has driven 208 kilometres. The longest single day route, so far, is 67 km.

The Motiv has driven 141 km in the same period with the longest single day route being 49 km.

In total, through Day 7, ROL-E Depot participants have driven 3,931 electric kilometres and used 24.7 mWh of energy.

Ongoing results of ROL-E Depot are here.