Kalmar Ottawa
The electric-battery powered Kalmar Ottawa TE2 terminal tractor.

Penske adds new dance partner to electric fleet boogaloo

Oct. 17, 2019
Kalmar Ottawa's T2E joins Freightliner's eM2 and eCascadia in Penske's electric fleet in California, which is increasing commercial EV mandates.

Penske Truck Leasing took another big step in its quest to amass a larger fleet of electric commercial vehicles by adding the Kalmar Ottawa Electric Terminal Tractor (T2E) to its Penske Logistics business in California. The T2E performs short-distance handling of trailers at truck yards, distribution centers, container terminals and similar work sites.

The T2E’s most apparent role is to help avoid any impending climate-related Judgment Day, or at least push it back further than 12 years, by producing zero emissions at source. In the short term, these trailer movers can have an immediate impact on a fleet’s bottom line, according to the Kansas-based Kalmar.

Among the benefits fleets should expect are “dramatically” reduced fuel costs, less maintenance and higher uptime. Because these vehicles are not in constant use, they can be opportunity charged during breaks and shift changes, operating for three shifts before requiring a bulk charge. By removing the internal combustion component, The trucks can also haul more sensitive materials and operate indoors.

“The fact that the Penske organization has chosen us to provide this asset for their fleet solidifies the commitment of both Kalmar Ottawa & Penske Truck Leasing to be part of a cleaner and more sustainable environment for generations to come,” said Doug Queen, vice president, solution sales terminal tractors at Kalmar Ottawa.

Penske received its first of an expected 10 medium-duty Freightliner eM2 trucks, which can recharge 80% in in hour, last December. The fleet welcomed Freightliner’s Class 8 eCascadia, also the first of an initial 10, in August. Both shoudl be in production by 2021. The Pa.-based company,  No. 4 on the 2019 Fleet Owner 500 rankings of the largest for-hire carriers, also has 16 charging stations in California, and plans to add six more.

 “We remain committed to being at the forefront of commercial vehicle electrification for our customers,” explained Brian Hard, president and CEO of Penske Transportation Solutions. “Adding the capability of an electric terminal tractor is a natural next step as they are an essential part of the mix for fleet operations. Penske and Kalmar Ottawa have a long-standing relationship and we look forward to continuing to work with them to provide our customers with reliable and innovative yard trucks for their fleets.”

From an environmental health and safety standpoint, drivers feel less vibration, hear less noise, and breathe less fumes.

This can also be seen as Penske getting a head start on impending regulations. The California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) is currently contemplating how to reduce trucking emissions in so-called “diesel death zones” by implementing more electric commercial vehicles. CARB’s expected goal is electrifying 4% of the estimated 1.9 million trucks (so 75,000 total) by 2030 in the state. Environmental advocates want to push the sales target to 15%.

“It’s past time for California to end its deadly smog,” said Kathryn Phillips, director of the Sierra Club California. “By answering the public’s call to deliver a strong electric truck standard, CARB has the opportunity to save lives. Zero-emission technologies are here now and ready to replace these dirty diesel trucks.”

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.

For tips, questions or comments, email [email protected].

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