Photo: Volvo Trucks North America
Volvo Vnr Electric Nfi Chino 150 Kw Chargers 2

NFI Industries electrifies fleet through Volvo LIGHTS

March 9, 2021
The company has introduced VNR Electric models to its Southern California fleet while expanding its on-site charging infrastructure.

Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, NFI Industries has introduced Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks into its transportation fleet, as well as electrified its yard trucks and forklifts at its warehouse facility in Chino, Calif.

In addition, the company has installed on-site charging infrastructure for both its growing fleet of electric vehicles and employees’ personal vehicles, paired with solar panels to capture renewable electricity and on-site energy storage to bolster resiliency. Combined, these initiatives help lay the groundwork to integrate electric vehicles into the company’s Chino drayage operations —a fleet which will total more than 65 electric heavy-duty vehicles.

“By critically evaluating the viability of electric trucks for their real-world, commercial operations, NFI is truly using the lessons learned through the Volvo LIGHTS project as a blueprint for fleet electrification,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “We are proud to partner with NFI as their bold leadership helps provide fleets industry wide with the knowledge needed to commercially scale zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.”

As a partner in the Volvo LIGHTS project, NFI began piloting two Volvo VNR Electric trucks in September. The Volvo VNR Electric trucks join NFI’s fleet of more than 4,500 heavy-duty tractors. Based out of their Chino distribution campus, the Volvo VNR Electric trucks travel 100-mile regional distribution routes. NFI will receive an additional two Volvo VNR Electric trucks in 2021.

“NFI has opted to take a leadership role in electrification because we believe it's the right thing to do. It’s in the fabric of who we are as an organization,” said Bill Bliem, senior vice president of fleet services at NFI. “NFI’s executive team is extremely excited to be a partner of the Volvo LIGHTS project, because we know that together, we can get to where we need to be in our sustainability initiatives and drive the supply chain industry forward.”

To install and maintain the charging infrastructure needed to support the electric trucks and equipment, NFI worked closely with Volvo Trucks, Southern California Edison, Greenlots, ABB, Core States and the City of Chino in order to upgrade the facility’s power supply and install two 150 kW chargers. The chargers will utilize Greenlots’ SKY software to effectively balance the electricity demand from the trucks, equipment, existing facilities and the electricity grid.

With support from the Volvo LIGHTS project, NFI has recently deployed two electric Kalmar Ottawa yard tractors, completing a 100% replacement of all of NFI’s yard trucks operating in Southern California’s Inland Empire with zero-emission, battery-electric models—27 in total. In addition, the company is replacing its forklifts at its Chino warehouse facility with Crown lithium-electric forklifts—eight in total—that are supported by Level 2 forklift chargers.

“By utilizing smart charging software, NFI is demonstrating how fleets can implement electric vehicle charging seamlessly and cost-effectively into their existing operations,” said Jeff Tolnar, chief commercial officer for Greenlots. “Developing a proactive charging strategy means fleets can save money while mitigating impacts to California’s energy grid.”

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