Freightliner co-creating electric vehicles with customers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Freightliner’s electrification strategy involves staying close to customers and having them actively participate in the design process through a concept called co-creation.

Greg Treinen, advanced technology marketing manager for Freightliner, said during a Work Truck Show press briefing that the company is “laser focused on developing electric trucks that work for our customers in the real world. This means focusing on specific use cases.”

The first applications to receive the eM2 Class 6/7 electric truck are urban pickup-and-delivery and last mile logistics. Thirty eM2s and Class 8 eCascadia’s are being built as part of a real-world test fleet. The company has also established an electric vehicle customer council, which brings together a larger fleet audience to discuss use cases and address issues as they arise.

Freightliner has also set up an eConsulting Services offering, which will pair Freightliner experts with fleets looking to adopt electric vehicles. They’ll help examine route selection, charging requirements, financing, and incentives.

“It’s not just a process of ordering a vehicle and taking delivery of it and you’re off and running,” said Treinen. “This is a detailed, involved process in making sure all aspects of this are addressed before placing an order and taking delivery.”

The eM2 is designed with 480 hp, 325 kWh of battery capacity and a range of 230 miles. It can be charged to 80% in one hour. The truck uses regenerative braking to extend its range. Freightliner is initially focusing on box truck applications, acknowledging that there will be more challenges when upfitting more complex bodies. Standard u-bolts can’t be used and training is required to safely work, drill, and weld around high-voltage components.

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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