Canadian retailer Loblaw happy with trial of battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia

Loblaw took an important step on its journey to move its corporately-owned trucking fleet to electric vehicles, with the introduction of Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia on routes in British Columbia, Canada. The company first trialed the eCascadia 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 2022-23.

Loblaw is the largest retailer in Canada. The company provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services through more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations.

Loblaw will continue utilise 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 160km to 250km, 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 continual development of electric vehicles.

Brian Springer, Vice President, Transport Operations, Loblaw Companies Limited, said, “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. 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 leadership saw immediate potential for electric vehicle usage in operations. One in five Loblaw trips run about 150 km from a distribution centre, which easily fits within the production eCascadia’s planned 400 km range capability.

David Carson, senior vice president of sales & marketing at Daimler Trucks North America, said, “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. We are excited for Loblaw’s trial and for feedback that aids in the purposeful innovation of our electric vehicles.”

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