Electric Fleets

Fleet managers are closely monitoring the potential of electric fleets, and Penske Truck Leasing is helping them explore and integrate this new technology. As a leading advisor to executives seeking more sustainable fleet solutions and alternative fuels, we have been operating, supporting and maintaining alternative-fueled vehicle fleets for more than 30 years including commercial electric vehicles for a decade.

Through research, pilot projects and innovative partnerships, Penske continues to support new initiatives to help modern fleets enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of BEVs.

Sustainable Fleet Initiatives We're Leading:

Battery Electric Commercial Truck Test Fleet

Penske works with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the electric vehicle market to ensure that battery electric commercial trucks are on track to meet full-service truck leasing transportation requirements.

The Penske Truck Leasing EV Test Fleet includes vehicles such as the Freightliner eCascadia (class 8), Freightliner eM2 (class 6 and 7), the Volvo VNR tractor (class 8), the International® eMV™ (class 6 and 7), the Ford E-Transit (Class 2), the FUSO eCanter (class 4), the Kalmar Ottawa Electric Terminal Tractor T2E (class 8 yard tractor) and the Orange EV electric terminal truck (class 8 yard tractor). We are also testing Hyliion's 6X4HE Class 8 hybrid system on a few vehicles.

We are working with customers to evaluate these BEVs for various markets and deploy battery electric commercial trucks in real-world applications.

All-Electric Cargo Vans Now Available

Penske continues to expand and diversify our electric vehicle options with the introduction of 750 all-electric Ford E-Transit cargo vans into our fleet. This more sustainable transportation option is the first light-duty electric truck available to our full-service leasing and commercial rental customers.

The Ford E-Transit electric zero tailpipe emission vehicle is the first all-electric cargo van from a full-line automaker in North America, with a payload of up to 3,800 lbs. and an estimated range of over 100 miles.

Electric Vehicle Charging Network

The availability of charging stations is a key concern for electric delivery trucks. Penske has implemented a network of heavy-duty electric high-speed charging stations in Southern California with select locations that are equipped with an innovative battery energy storage system designed to offset demand on the electricity grid during peak charging times.

charging stations

We are committed to building the infrastructure needed to encourage broader adoption of electric delivery trucks and other BEVs. We also believe that standardization around EV charging will help accelerate adoption and are a member of the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN), a worldwide industry alliance focused on promoting Combined Charging System (CCS) as the global standard for charging EVs of all types.

Sustainable Fleet Research

Penske is supporting original research that can help transportation leaders make informed choices about the future of their fleets, including the annual State of Sustainable Fleets report created by California-based clean technology consulting firm Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.

Download the 2021 report to learn more about the key trends and performance metrics that are accelerating the adoption of sustainable vehicles in the U.S. on-road transportation industry.

Support for Today's Fleet Leaders

Penske is helping commercial fleets take advantage of the cost savings and environmental benefits that BEVs offer.

We can help you navigate the steps, find the best options, and identify maintenance and safety requirements.

Penske Truck Leasing is adding Orange EV electric terminal trucks for use with customers across the U.S. The vehicles are designed for trailer-handling operations in truck yards, warehousing and distribution centers, container terminals and related operations where short-distance moves are required.

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Penske Transportation Solutions makes its return to the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in 2022 with an action-packed presence in Long Beach, California. The company is a Presenting Sponsor of the conference itself (which runs May 9-12) and a Title Sponsor of the third annual Gladstein, Neandross and Associates (GNA)-produced State of Sustainable Fleets Report.

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The next stage of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 2 emissions requirements will affect model year (MY) 2024 Class 8 tractors, and continued advances in electric trucks could change how original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's requirements.

The rule does not mandate specific technologies but rather sets carbon and fuel efficiency performance standards for manufacturers to meet using numerous technology choices.

"In 2014, none of us thought electric trucks would be as probable as they are now," said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). "Now the truck builders are saying, 'Do I go put all this stuff on my diesel trucks, or do I work hard to develop my electric trucks even faster?'"

The GHG Phase 2 rule first brought changes to MY 2021 Class 8 trucks, and standards increase incrementally over time, becoming fully phased in with MY 2027 equipment. "Meeting the 2021 requirements was challenging, but the truck OEMs and engine folks knew how to get there, so it was pretty predictable. But 2024 gets harder, and 2027 gets harder," Roeth said, adding that the EPA was smart to include electric trucks in the rule even though no one expected electric trucks to be this far along.

OEMs can accomplish the regulation's phase-down requirements in four ways, Roeth said. The first is to stop selling or sell fewer trucks with lower fuel efficiency, such as logging trucks. Next, they can sell a higher volume of trucks with systems they've already engineered, such as aerodynamics, axle ratios and tire pressure monitoring systems. They can also offer new technologies, such as turbo compounding. Finally, they can turn to advanced technologies, which is where electric trucks fit in.

Roeth said even producing a small number of electric trucks can significantly affect an OEM's total emissions. "They look at all the trucks you build as a manufacturer, and they average it," he explained. "Instead of making that diesel truck more efficient and spending a lot of money on product development to bring that to market, I think the truck builders will focus on electric trucks. That may support a quicker turnover to electric."

NACFE has said electric powertrains will dominate the market in the long run, but the group has predicted a "messy middle" as the transition occurs. "If this logic holds and OEMs use the electric trucks to comply, the messy middle may be shorter," Roeth said.

No matter what options OEMs turn to for MY 2024 equipment, Roeth said fleets should anticipate changes to their maintenance needs. “A new technology might have more or less maintenance. If you’re adding on skirts or a tail, those are parts that weren’t there before. There is a chance they’ll break or fail and need to be fixed,” he said, adding that electric trucks bring new technologies and will require new tools, new training and new skill sets.

As fleets consider their future purchases, Roeth suggests they stay apprised of the new technology and be open to using it. "Your grandfather's truck might be more expensive over time because the OEMs have to deliver more fuel-efficient trucks," he said.

April 2022

Sustainability takes a strong corporate commitment and an integrated team approach to make it happen. At Penske, we are dedicated to readying our businesses for the future of electrification, decarbonization, and enhancing our overall sustainability as responsible corporate citizens.

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Penske Truck Leasing continues to expand its fleet electrification efforts including the evaluation of important related technologies to support the emerging charging needs of battery electric trucks. Since April 2021, Penske has worked with Stem, Inc., a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven energy storage services, to pilot its Athena® smart energy storage software and operate an advanced battery storage system. The pilot project included a 350 kilowatt (kW)/800 kilowatt hour (kWh) battery system powered by Stem's Athena at Penske's heavy-duty truck charging positions in Ontario, California.

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Penske Transportation Solutions will take part in this year's Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. Penske is a Presenting Sponsor and an expert will moderate a session. The event runs from August 30 to September 2 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

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Penske Truck Leasing is teaming up with ROUSH CleanTech and Proterra Inc in a new collaboration to advance the development of its next-generation Ford F-650 all-electric commercial truck.

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Penske Truck Leasing recently took delivery of two VNR Electrics from Volvo Trucks North America, expanding its fleet of battery-electric Class 8 models available in Southern California. Its first Volvo VNR Electrics will be used by two consumer retail companies, enabling both customers to gain firsthand insight into the many benefits of battery-electric trucks, the ease of recharging, and the ideal routes to deploy additional units in the future.

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Mike Costanza, Penske's director of environmental services, will take part in the U.S. EPA SmartWay Freight Matters webinar series. Click here to register for the March 16 event, Alternative Fuel Adoption Accelerates: Discussion with Penske and GNA.

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