NFI Begins Piloting Volvo VNR Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks

NFI Begins Piloting Volvo VNR Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks

The Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be integrated into NFI's commercial operations.

Volvo Trucks North America announced recently that third-party supply chain solutions provider NFI began piloting two Volvo VNR Electric trucks as part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, becoming the third company to deploy its battery-electric trucks. The Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be integrated into NFI’s commercial operations, demonstrating the ability for battery-electric trucks to successfully transport goods under a variety of operating conditions. 

The Volvo VNR Electric trucks join NFI’s fleet of more than 4,500 heavy-duty tractors that support its dedicated transportation and port drayage services for customers spanning from manufacturing to retail. The pilot trucks will be based out of one of NFI’s warehouse facilities in Southern California that serves as a central distribution center for the region. 

The Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be based at an NFI facility in Southern California that serves as a central distribution center for the region. From left to right: Robert Estrella (driver), Chibuike Nwadigo (driver), Hector Banuelos (fleet manager), Jeffrey Howard (driver) and Elvis Alvarado (driver).

“As the future of goods movement in the U.S. changes from more of a long-haul operation to regional and hub and spoke models, not only is that NFI’s wheelhouse, it’s an ideal scenario to immerse electrification into our regional hauling strategy,” said Jim O’Leary, vice president, Assets/Fleet Services, NFI Industries. “Our executive team is excited to collaborate with the Volvo LIGHTS team to accelerate our transition to a zero-emission fleet, so that we can lower our carbon footprint, reduce our operating costs and provide a better work environment for our drivers.”

Recognized as a four-time award-winning, EPA SmartWay Partner, NFI continues to implement a variety of clean vehicles and equipment to reduce its overall emissions, including electric heavy-duty trucks, near-zero emission natural gas vehicles and battery-electric warehouse equipment. Volvo’s VNR Electric trucks support both NFI and its customers on their journey in meeting ambitious sustainability goals. 

“By participating in the Volvo LIGHTS project, NFI is helping to prove that Volvo’s VNR Electric trucks can handle the daily rigors of freight movement. NFI continues to be a leader in sustainability and it comes across in everything they do,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “NFI is realizing the immediate value the electric VNR provides — not just by eliminating emissions but creating an enthusiastic workforce complimenting the experience of driving these electric truck models. We are proud to continue to partner with NFI — a leader of fleet innovation and a fellow champion of sustainable transport solutions.”

Volvo’s VNR Electric trucks produce zero emissions and significantly reduce heat, noise and vibrations allowing for the cleanest and most comfortable experience for drivers.  “It’s very quiet,” said Karl Williams, a driver for NFI. “You come home feeling a lot calmer and a lot more relaxed at the end of the day.”

The Volvo VNR Electric heavy-duty trucks provide excellent responsiveness, torque and performance, especially in the heavy-idling, stop-and-go nature of urban goods movement which is particularly taxing for diesel trucks, said the company.

“When I accelerate the Volvo VNR Electric truck, I can feel the power,” said Francisco Delgado, an NFI driver with more than 20 years of experience operating heavy-duty trucks. “It’s fast, and it’s very smooth. I’m very excited to drive it.” 

The Volvo LIGHTS pilot project will run through 2021, enabling Volvo Trucks North America to gather real-world operational data critical to the successful commercial scaling of these vehicles. 

“These types of zero-emission trucks are exactly what we need to help us achieve our clean air goals,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s executive officer. “We are pleased with the progress made through the Volvo LIGHTS program and look forward to similar deployments throughout Southern California.”

“We are excited to see another deployment of Volvo Trucks’ cutting-edge, zero-emission vehicles being put into service,” said Sydney Vergis, assistant chief of CARB’s Mobile Source Division. “This deployment is a culmination of countless hours of collaboration. The Volvo LIGHTS partners are continuing to lead with innovation and ingenuity, charting an actionable, zero-emission path forward for others to follow.”

Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

To learn more about the Volvo LIGHTS project, visit www.lightsproject.com.

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