Another fastener giant looks to green fleets as Fastenal expands electric trial

Fastenal's ongoing electric box truck trial is being expanded as the huge fastener and associated goods supplier continues to look to reduce its carbon emissions.

Fastenal has been trialling the use of two Freightliner eM2 box trucks since early 2020, in the Los Angeles metro area. Now the firm has revealed it has been completed a short-term pilot of a pre-series battery electric Class 8 truck, the Freightliner eCascadia.

The move mirrors those made by fellow huge fastener supplier, Adolf Würth GmbH, which recently confirmed it would switch its vehicle fleet to alternative fuel vehicles, starting with a hydrogen vehicle test period for its sales reps.

Fastenal's eM2 box truck trial has seen the heavy duty electric vehicles operate daily delivery routes from its Santa Fe Springs trucking terminal to surrounding branches and customer-specific onsite locations. Together the trucks travel nearly 900 miles per week to service 16 Fastenal locations spanning from Inglewood in the west, to Santa Ana in the south, to Ontario in the east.

The additional short-term trial saw Fastenal run the eCascadia 'tractor' on a roughly 120-mile daily line haul normally run by a diesel tractor. The vehicle left Santa Fe Springs in the morning, headed north to pick up a full trailer in Valencia, then returned to Santa Fe Springs, where the load was broken up into multiple local routes (two of which are run by the eM2s). As before, Fastenal worked with Penske Truck Leasing and Daimler Trucks North America on the test.

Fastenal mulls how electric vehicles will fit into its future

With the eCascadia test now complete, Penske can continue to focus on programme development and Fastenal will continue to be a partner in this space as they work together on more sustainable transportation options.

“The program is helping us understand where electric vehicles might fit into our future,” said Dan Florness, Fastenal’s president and CEO. “It also gives us a chance to help accelerate the development of commercial EV technology.”

Kevin Larson, Fastenal’s VP of transportation, added: “The eM2 vehicles have performed well for us. Our drivers really like the instant torque and performance, and the trucks have proven to be highly reliable over time, with very few downtime days.”

The Penske and Daimler commercial EV testing program is supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), whose $15.7 million grant helped fund the program. South Coast AQMD focuses on improving air quality in large portions of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including the Coachella Valley.

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