J.B. Hunt Starts Electric Tests

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell made its first delivery with an all-electric tractor Tuesday.

The company said the 120-mile intermodal delivery, made for Walmart Inc. of Bentonville in the Los Angeles market, was the first step of a three-month testing phase of the Freightliner eCascadia, a Class 8 truck manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America.

The trucks have zero tailpipe emissions and, on a full charge, can travel up to 250 miles; the 525-horsepower engine can reach a charge of 80% in 90 minutes, according to J.B. Hunt.

“J.B. Hunt is continually exploring innovative solutions such as the eCascadia to improve the sustainability of our fleet and operations,” J.B. Hunt COO Craig Harper said. “We are excited to test this vehicle and gain more hands-on experience with all-electric tractors.”

The company said charging stations were installed at the Los Angeles terminal and its drivers are being trained how to drive the tractor. 

J.B. Hunt added five Fuso eCanter all-electric medium-duty box trucks in late 2018 for use in its Final Mile Delivery segment in Santa Fe Springs, California, and Houston. Those tractors also have zero tailpipe emissions and a range of about 80 miles.