Real-World Study Shows That Certain Trucking Segments Are Ready to Go Electric and Save 100 Million Metric Tons of CO2

A real-world study of 13 electric trucks delivering freight across North America has found that if all U.S. and Canadian medium- and heavy-duty trucks became electric, about 100 million metric tons of CO2 would be saved from going into the atmosphere.

Known as Run on Less – Electric and run by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and RMI, the study concluded this week after monitoring the electric trucks for the past three weeks. The trucks followed their regular routes delivering beer, wine, packages, electrical equipment, and more.

“It’s clear from the data collected during the Run that it is time for fleets to go electric in certain market segments, including the van/step van, medium-duty box truck, terminal tractor and short heavy tractor regional delivery segments.”

Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director

All 13 trucks participating in the Run completed their daily routes hauling real freight in their respective locations and helped to validate some of the earlier findings from NACFE’s Electric Truck Bootcamp that took place just prior to the Run.

NACFE estimates that the four segments featured in the Run encompass 5.2 million vehicles but that these market segments are a gateway to the larger opportunity in longer regional-haul and long-haul trucking. Therefore, the industry will be able to leverage the learnings from the four early-adopter market segments for even greater reductions in CO2.

Click here to view an infographic.

During the next six to 12 months, NACFE, RMI and various other partners will analyze both the quantitative and qualitative data collected during the past three months — including data from the Bootcamp trainings, fleet interviews and the Run itself. This will result in several reports and tools to help lead the industry forward. But NACFE believes the entire trucking industry has a responsibility to act now and begin the transition to electric trucks.

“Taking action now to decarbonize trucking is critical because although medium- and heavy-duty trucks make up 4% of all North American vehicles, they account for a quarter of carbon emissions. The move to zero-emission vehicles will create clear health benefits for all of us.”

Jason Mathers, director, Vehicle & Freight Strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund

“As a fleet that has begun the transformation to zero-emission vehicles, we already have learned from and are acting upon the findings from the Bootcamp, the visits with the participating fleets and from the Run itself. I encourage all organizations in the electric truck ecosystem to do the same.”

Rob Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Schneider

“The trucking industry is sometimes characterized as a single medium- and heavy-duty market. Run on Less – Electric has clearly reminded us that the industry is multifaceted and there are key market segments ready today to take advantage of battery electric vehicles.”

Michael Berube, deputy assistant secretary for Sustainable Transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy

NACFE thanks the fleets and drivers who participated in the Run, as well as the manufacturers and other businesses, utilities and governmental and nongovernmental agencies that supported the Run. Without the combined efforts of a variety of people in the electric truck ecosystem, the Run would not have been such a success. NACFE would also like to thank title sponsors Dana, Meritor and Shell for their support of the Run, as well as all the event and supporting sponsors for making Run on Less – Electric possible. A complete list of sponsors can be found here.

Valuable information including recordings of the Bootcamp trainings, participant profiles, daily stories from the road and 234 truck-days of metrics can be found at runonless.com. Information on the Run also is available at @RunonLess on Twitter.


Media Inquiries Please Contact

NACFE: Denise Rondini, T: +1 773-951-8563, E: denise.rondini@nacfe.org

RMI: Alex Chin, T: +1 973-262-0002, E: achin@rmi.org

Some of these vehicle-manufacturer pairings are 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.

About the North American Council for Freight Efficiency

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doubling the freight efficiency of North American goods movement. NACFE operates as a nonprofit in order to provide an independent, unbiased research organization for the transformation of the transportation industry. Data is critical, and NACFE is proving to help the industry with real-world information that fleets can use to take action. In 2014, NACFE collaborated with Carbon War Room, founded by Sir Richard Branson and now a part of RMI, to deliver tools and reports to improve trucking efficiency. Learn more at www.nacfe.org.

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. More information on RMI can be found at www.rmi.org or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

Run on Less – Electric Finale Event

Run On Less – Electric is close to the finish line. Join us at the Finale Event on Wednesday, September 22 at 11 a.m. EST when NACFE’s Executive Director Mike Roeth and an expert panel will share the real-world results of this three-week electric truck technology study, including the amount of carbon saved if all North American trucks made the move to electric.

Register today

NACFE’s Roeth is Passionate About Decarbonization

When NACFE’s Executive Director Mike Roeth sold his house so he could live in his solar-powered camper, the decision stood as a clear symbol of Roeth’s commitment to decarbonizing trucking — a sector responsible for 24% of transportation’s greenhouse gas footprint.

Learn more about Mike’s work at NACFE, including his journey spearheading Run On Less – Electric, on RMI’s blog.

Roeth and his wife Letty enjoy their solar-powered RV year-round.

NACFE Hosts Appreciation Reception

NACFE held an Appreciation Reception Tuesday night at the The Cove at Long Beach Convention Center to thank the Run On Less – Electric fleet and OEM teams as well as the sponsors who helped make the event happen.

To the Fleets, OEMs, and Sponsors, a heartfelt thanks from the entire NACFE team. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Truckers Lead the Charge to Go Electric

More than a dozen different electric trucks from companies such as Frito-Lay, Anheuser Busch, Penske and DHL will be measured over the next three weeks along their usual delivery routes to tally the amount of carbon they emit. This is a part of Run on Less, a program aimed at measuring efficiency in trucking that is a collaboration between the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and RMI.

For the first time, all trucks participating in the event are powered by electric motors—revealing the momentum within the trucking industry for adopting greener delivery vehicles. This is critical now more than ever, as North American delivery is growing amid an e-commerce boom driven by the pandemic. Trucking emissions account for 24% of emissions in the United States, and on average, trucks emit more carbon than gasoline-powered passenger cars.

Data will be collected daily along the three-week run and streamed live online. Final results will be unveiled the week of September 20.

“The transition to electric trucks is happening in the trucking industry all over North America. Our preliminary findings based on early adopters show that switching from a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle to an electric one is affordable. And there is now inertia in the trucking industry that will speed up adoption in coming years.”

– Mike Roeth, NACFE Executive Director

Interviews with truckers, fleet operators and delivery companies prior to the Run’s launch also found the following:

  • Early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) are validating an acceptable total cost of ownership in urban medium-duty vans and trucks, terminal tractors and short regional haul applications. 
  • EV adoption is occurring throughout North America, but for longer haul heavy-duty semi-trucks use has been somewhat limited to California. 
  • There are benefits to EVs (quiet operation and reliability) as well as challenges (infrastructure and range).
  • EV truck ecosystem inertia is in its early stages with many solutions emerging that will support adoption in the next several years.
  • The industry needs to develop standards in the areas of charging, repair, maintenance and training.
  • There is a huge demand for real-world information on EVs in commercial applications and on charging infrastructure. 
  • The mix of startups and traditional truck OEMs and component manufacturers is expediting the development of creative and practical solutions. 
  • More thought is needed on the best way to gather and manage the necessary data for fleets and manufacturers to measure and monitor their EVs
  • Early adopters of EVs are having an influence on improving trucks and infrastructure
  • EVs present operational challenges, for example longer charging times than fueling, which these fleets are working to mitigate.

“At Penske, we support customers with a wide variety of different truck solutions—including electric vehicles. Run on Less – Electric is going to highlight some of the early adopters of electric trucks, like Penske, while exhibiting the key benefits and challenges in each segment. We are excited to be part of this and encourage all parties helping to improve EV operations to follow the Run.”

— Paul Rosa, Senior Vice President Procurement and Fleet Planning, Penske

In addition to the preliminary findings, NACFE also is revealing the names of the 13 drivers participating in the Run. “We met all 13 drivers and learned about their experiences with EVs,” Roeth said. “Overwhelmingly they are excited about these trucks and very willing to share their experience behind the wheel.”

In addition to the preliminary findings, NACFE also is revealing the names of the 13 drivers participating in the Run. “We met all 13 drivers and learned about their experiences with EVs,” Roeth said. “Overwhelmingly they are excited about these trucks and very willing to share their experience behind the wheel.”

The drivers, truck manufacturers and fleets participating in Run on Less – Electric are: 

  1. Rene Solis—driving a BYD tractor for Anheuser-Busch 
  2. Joseph Villaneuva—driving a Cummins box truck for Frito-Lay
  3. Donald Disesa—driving a Freightliner eCascadia for Penske
  4. Jazmin Vasquez—driving a Kalmar Ottawa electric terminal tractor for NFI  
  5. Antonio Grimila—driving a Lightning eMotors van for DHL 
  6. Francis Lajoie—driving a Lion6 electric truck for Day & Ross 
  7. Ray Hancock—driving a Lonestar Specialty Vehicles terminal tractor for Ryder 
  8. Alexander Schaumann—driving a Motiv-Powered step van for Purolator 
  9. Conrad Hanson—driving an Orange EV terminal tractor for Ruan 
  10. Pat Brandon—driving a Peterbilt 579EV for Biagi Bros. 
  11. Michael Johnson—driving a Roush CleanTech truck for Roush Fenway
  12. Jeffrey Howard—driving a Volvo electric VNR for NFI
  13. Stephen Garrett—driving a Workhorse C1000 for Servall Electric

A few key metrics from the efforts so far include the following: 

  • The Electric Truck Bootcamp featured 48 experts and had about 1,500 participants who took part in person or by viewing each of the 10 trainings.
  • NACFE visited all 13 deployments interviewing 91 first-hand people taking advantage of these trucks in everyday operation.
  • Of the 35 videos telling the various stories around electric adoption, 15 are already available on www.runonless.com
  • Metrics will begin streaming from each truck starting Thursday, September 2. The Run begins September 2 and lasts for three weeks.

You can follow the Run, track fleet metrics and see video stories from the road at runonless.com. You also can follow the Run at @RunonLess on Twitter. 


Media Inquiries Please Contact: 
NACFE: Denise Rondini, T: +1 773-951-8563, E: denise.rondini@nacfe.org  
RMI: Alex Chin, T: +1 973-262-0002, E: achin@rmi.org 

Some of these vehicle-manufacturer pairings are 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.

NACFE Conducts Workshop at ACT Expo

NACFE hosted an interactive workshop yesterday during ACT Expo in Long Beach, CA to identify key challenges and opportunities related to electric truck deployments.

Approximately 240 people joined as we shared our latest insights, including key takeaways from the 10-part Electric Truck Bootcamp and lessons learned from Run on Less – Electric participant site visits this summer. We also gave a sneak peek at what to expect from RoL-E when it gets underway two days from now.

Whether you attended the workshop or not, we want to hear from YOU – what needs to happen to accelerate electric truck adoption?

With your feedback and the discussion during the workshop, we’ll collectively and anonymously prioritize these ideas to identify the top options worth advancing. Your input will not only help guide NACFE’s work and ensure that it benefits your organization, but who knows – it could change the world!

Participant Profiles Now Available

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is excited to share more details about the 13 Run on Less – Electric (ROL-E) fleets – their trucks, their drivers, their routes and their charging routines. The Story So Far.

View photos and all the details about ROL-E Participants here.

NACFE will host a press conference tomorrow at 1:50 p.m. PT during ACT Expo to announce preliminary findings from the Electric Truck Bootcamp and Participant site visits conducted during the last few months.

Metrics will begin streaming from ROL-E trucks starting September 2 when the Run kicks off, and Stories from the Road videos will premiere on September 3 with additional new videos posting throughout the Run.

Plan to Attend the Last 3 Bootcamp Trainings

We’re down to our last three Electric Truck Bootcamp training sessions. So far, we’ve gotten great feedback on the first seven trainings that have covered the factors that are driving electric truck development, charging EVs, working with utilities, incentives, maintenance/training/safety and financing.

If you have not checked out these trainings, we encourage you to do so here, where you will find recordings of all the sessions. More than 1,600 people either attended or watched the first training session and the number of people checking out subsequent sessions is growing. Check them out today!

You still can register to join us live for the last three sessions including:

And remember to take the quizzes following each training to demonstrate your comprehension of the material and earn your electric truck bootcamp badge. We will send you a free Run on Less – Electric hat for passing all 10 quizzes!

Virgin Unite Supports NACFE’s Run on Less – Electric

NACFE and Run on Less – Electric recently wrote for the Virgin Unite blog and appreciate its support for the role of electric trucking to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

When NACFE, an organization that both Virgin Unite and RMI have supported for many years, decided to focus the 2021 Run on Less trucking demonstration on electric trucking, I knew that the momentum for passenger electric vehicles would shift toward freight delivery trucks. Yet those expectations, which were already high, are being exceeded. Read the full blog here.

13 Bold Fleets to Participate in NACFE’s Run on Less – Electric

A diverse mix of early-adopting fleets will be joining NACFE on the Run.

This fall 13 fleets will take part in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) Run on Less – Electric, a real-world demonstration of zero-emissions goods movement.

“These 13 fleets who have committed to Run on Less – Electric represent the diverse range of applications in which electric vehicles make sense.”

— Mike Roeth, executive director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency

The following fleets are helping NACFE and its partner RMI showcase the benefits and discuss the challenges of electric trucks.

  • Anheuser-Busch using a BYD tractor in the Los Angeles area
  • PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division using a Cummins box truck in Modesto, California
  • Penske operating a Freightliner eCascadia in Los Angeles, California
  • NFI using an Ottawa Kalmar Electric Terminal Tractor in Chino, California
  • DHL operating a Lightning eMotors van in the New York City area
  • Day & Ross operating a LION6 truck in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Ryder Systems, Inc. using a Lonestar Specialty Vehicles terminal tractor in Georgetown, KY
  • Purolator operating a Motiv-powered step van in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Ruan using an Orange EV terminal tractor in Otsego, Minnesota
  • Biagi Brothers operating a Peterbilt 579EV out of Sonoma, California
  • Roush Fenway Racing using a ROUSH CleanTech truck out of Concord, North Carolina
  • NFI using a Volvo VNR Electric out of Chino, California
  • Servall Electric operating a Workhorse C1000 in Cincinnati, Ohio

“In order to ensure the long-term success of electric vehicles, it is crucial to begin learning from early deployments and sharing best practices. Over the next six months Run on Less – Electric will be the platform to do just that.”

– Rob Reich, NACFE board chair and Schneider’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer

“We are very excited about the mix that these early-adopting fleets represent and how that reflects the current state of electric truck actions across North America,” says Mike Roth, NACFE’s executive director. “The interest in electric vehicles is spreading across North America as more companies recognize the value of zero-emission solutions.”

  • There are three vans, three medium-duty box trucks, a heavy-duty truck and four heavy-duty tractors in drayage and regional haul and two terminal tractors.
  • Six operate in California, two in Canada and five more in rest of the United States.
  • They are delivering home goods, beer, wine and liquor, baked goods, snacks, groceries, auto parts, mail, and packages and general freight.

The three-week event will start on September 3 at ACT Expo in Long Beach and will feature metrics and daily real-world stories on runonless.com. The Run’s finale will take place at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta September 27 to 30.

Title sponsors include Dana, Meritor and Shell, with others sponsoring individual elements of the Run as well. In addition to our title sponsors there are others sponsoring out efforts. Recognizing that the move to electric vehicles takes more than just changes in engines and equipment, one element of Shell’s support of the program will be to provide Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) equal to the total energy usage of all of the participating battery electric vehicles.

“We are still seeking additional support, and anyone interested in supporting us in our efforts should contact me at 260-750-0106,” Roeth says. For a full list of all the sponsors for RoL-E, click here.

“There is a thirst for knowledge on electric trucks and we are convening stakeholders across the entire electric truck ecosystem to discuss key opportunities and challenges in the deployment of commercial battery electric vehicles.”

– Jessie Lund, senior associate, RMI and host of the Bootcamp educational series

Accompanying the event will be 10 training sessions dubbed the Electric Truck Bootcamp, powered by ACT News. The first one is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20 followed by a new training every other Tuesday through August 24. Topics the Bootcamp will cover include:

  • Why Electric Trucks? 
  • Charging 101 —Planning & Buildout
  • Charging 201 —Power Management & Resilience
  • Working with Your Utility 
  • Incentives for Electrification 
  • Maintenance, Training & Safety 
  • Finance & Innovative Business Models 
  • Battery Supply Chains & End of Life 
  • Global Perspectives 
  • Drivers & Electric Trucks 

You can register for the Electric Truck Bootcamp here.

This is NACFE’s third event in the Run on Less series. The first, Run on Less 2017 focused on long-haul routes and the seven drivers averaged 10 MPG. During the second event, Run on Less Regional, 10 drivers average 8.3 MPG hauling in a wide variety of regional haul applications.

About California Climate Investments: Some of these vehicle-manufacturer pairings are 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.

About NACFE: The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) works to drive the development and adoption of efficiency enhancing, environmentally beneficial, and cost-effective technologies, services, and operational practices in the movement of goods across North America. NACFE provides independent, unbiased research, including Confidence Reports on available technologies and Guidance Reports on emerging ones, which  highlight the benefits and consequences of each, and deliver decision-making tools for fleets, manufacturers, and others. NACFE partners with  RMI on a variety of projects including  the Run on Less demonstration series, electric trucks, emissions reductions, and low-carbon supply chains. Learn more at www.nacfe.org and follow NACFE on Twitter @NACFE_Freight

About RMI: RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. www.rmi.org

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