Schneider builds electric charging facility for Southern Calif. fleet

Updated Jun 13, 2023
Battery electric charing at Schenider's new facility

Schneider National Inc. recently announced the completion of an electric charging depot at its South El Monte Intermodal Operations Center in Southern California. The depot will power its battery electric truck (BET) fleet, which will include nearly 100 Freightliner eCascadias by year’s end, making it one of North America’s largest zero-emission fleets, according to the company.

The charging site is over half the size of a football field, featuring 16 350 kW dual-corded dispensers, allowing the carrier to charge 32 trucks simultaneously. The eCascadias will be able to achieve an 80% charge within 90 minutes.   

“Schneider decided to lead the way by building our own depot in South El Monte," said Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke. “It was important to develop onsite charging because it is the most efficient solution to power our growing electric fleet. With the infrastructure deficiency, we found that we needed to collaborate with a wide array of experts to see our vision come to fruition.” 

RELATED NEWS: Schneider makes landmark eCascadia delivery for Frito-Lay

Schneider’s facility is centrally located within the metro Los Angeles area and adjacent to major highways with a high density of customers within a 50-mile radius. Already this year, Schneider has begun hauling deliveries for Frito-Lay North America and Goodyear using the new eCascadia fleet, supporting each company’s supply chain sustainability goals. Schneider said the eCascadias have a range of about 220 miles. 

The South El Monte site was funded through the Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative (JETSI), a project funded by state and local agencies to increase the number of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks on the roads. Schneider collaborated with similar sustainably-minded companies, including clean transportation engineering and construction company, Black & Veatch, to build the site and create an operationally efficient layout. 

“This 4,900-square-foot state-of-the-art electric truck charging hub is a monumental testament to innovation and collaboration,” said Dave Hallowell, Black & Veatch president of the connectivity, commercial, and industrial sector. “The collaboration between Schneider and all the project partners will result in new employment opportunities for the area, along with a significant reduction in pollution.”   

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“We know the future of sustainable transportation includes electric. That is why we invested and collaborated with stakeholders along the supply chain to work together to create this infrastructure and ultimately lower carbon emissions. This would not be possible without our funding and grant agencies,” said Rourke.   

Schneider said it worked alongside Daimler Truck North America as the eCascadia evolved, piloting a truck for six months in 2019-2020 through Freightliner’s Customer Experience fleet. Feedback from Schneider drivers and the equipment team led to the production of the BET found in the company’s fleet today.  

At present, the company has accepted delivery of approximately a third of its expected fleet. When fully operational, Schneider’s 92 BETs will have the potential to avoid more than 81,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per day, the equivalent of removing 2,400 gas-powered cars from the road, according to Schneider. Each day these zero-emission trucks will accelerate the company’s progress toward its goal of reducing CO2 emission by 7.5% per mile by 2025 and a 60% per mile reduction by 2035.