“Since we started our business in 1998, Tradelink Transport has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable transportation, having always utilized a mix of compressed natural gas trucks and the cleanest diesel models available. With this order of 15 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, we are excited to become one of the first fleets in the nation to deploy battery-electric trucks and supporting infrastructure into our operations at scale,” said Rigoberto Cea, president, Tradelink Transport. “Our drivers are excited to drive the new VNR Electric trucks. Most live within a 15-mile radius of our facility and see how vital it is for the trucking industry to reduce its emissions and community impact.”
Tradelink Transport, which primarily operates an employee-driver model, is deploying battery-electric trucks in part as a driver recruitment and retention strategy. The Volvo VNR Electric model produces zero-tailpipe emissions and significantly reduces heat, noise, and vibrations, allowing for the cleanest and most comfortable experience for drivers.
Tradelink Transport’s 15 Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be deployed into its existing fleet of 40 Class 8 trucks at its Compton transfer facility, transporting a variety of products for major shipping companies. To determine which of its routes were the most ideal for battery-electric trucks, Tradelink Transport worked with TEC Equipment – La Mirada, a Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle Dealer, and Volvo Trucks North America, to simulate real-world Volvo VNR Electric truck trips via Volvo Trucks’ Electric Performance Generator (EPG) route planning tool. The EPG application takes into consideration the vehicle configuration and battery capacity, environmental factors such as terrain and ambient temperature, and specific route details, including traffic patterns.
“The EPG route planning tool helped us identify a driver training opportunity by highlighting that the heavy traffic around the ports will allow significant regenerative braking. This in turn can increase range by returning up to 15% of the power back to the battery,” said Tracey Craik, regional sales director, TEC Equipment. “In addition to route planning and driver training, TEC Equipment has supported Tradelink Transport in growing its Volvo VNR Electric fleet by identifying zero-tailpipe emission vehicle funding opportunities available to fleets that operate in disadvantaged communities.”
Ten of the 15 Volvo VNR Electric trucks were purchased with vouchers from California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Launched by the California Air Resources Board in 2009, HVIP provides point-of-sale vouchers to make advanced technology vehicles more affordable with first-come first-served incentives that reduce the incremental cost of commercial vehicles.
“The Volvo VNR Electric is an ideal solution to support fleet customers with local and regional distribution, including port drayage, with less noise and emissions,” said Jared Ruiz, acting head of electromobility sales for North America, at Volvo Trucks North America. “Tradelink Transport recognized the significant benefits they could provide to the communities located near Southern California’s major freight corridors by deploying battery-electric trucks. Volvo Trucks has been really impressed with the commitment from both their leadership team and drivers.”
To support its growing battery-electric truck fleet, Tradelink Transport is utilizing Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Transport program to install 10 chargers — a mix of 180 kW and 360 kW dual chargers. The chargers will be installed at Tradelink Transport’s new, five-acre facility, paired with onsite solar panels to generate renewable electricity, and help offset peak charging costs.