QCD and Volvo Secure Grant for Largest Commercial Electric Truck Order to Date
April 13, 2021
With this week’s news of secured grant funding in partnership with Volvo Trucks North America, Quality Custom Distribution will deploy 14 Volvo VNR Electric models in its Southern California last-mile delivery routes over the next two years. Expanding on QCD’s first Volvo VNR Electric truck delivery in late March through the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) initiative, this additional truck order represents the largest single purchasing commitment of Volvo VNR Electric trucks to date. Volvo Trucks will begin delivering the Class 8 battery-electric trucks to QCD this fall to operate out of the Fontana distribution center.
“The experience gained from this program will help accelerate battery-electric truck adoption in QCD’s fleet, as well as other last-mile delivery fleets,” said Mike Douglas, senior director of strategic procurement, QCD. “We are excited to partner with Volvo Trucks and VFS to put these VNR Electrics to work and begin reducing emissions throughout the region.”
The 14 leased Volvo VNR Electric trucks and supporting charging equipment are assisted with funding by a $3.9 million grant awarded to Volvo Financial Services (VFS) from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s (MSRC) Inland Port Program. Combined with MSRC grant funds, the VFS leases provided through the program will reduce QCD’s total cost of operating the electric vehicles, making the trucks cost-competitive with existing diesel technology. The MSRC is a committee of California’s largest transportation and clean air agencies and stakeholders.
With this additional order, QCD’s total fleet of VNR Electric trucks will reach 15 by the end of 2022. Providing custom distribution services to thousands of America’s most iconic restaurants, QCD currently operates a fleet of over 700 Class 8 tractors, more than half of which are Volvo VNR and VNL models.
“Earlier this month, we delivered QCD’s first VNR Electric to be used in its first-class distribution and logistics services,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “With this exceptional commitment to deploy an additional 14 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, we are pleased that QCD has chosen to continue its longtime partnership with our organization to achieve its sustainable freight transportation goals.”
Volvo Trucks North America is among the first major truck manufacturers in the U.S. to commercialize and sell battery-electric Class 8 trucks. The company began taking customer orders for its VNR Electric model last December and has multiple customer deliveries scheduled throughout 2021. With this purchase from QCD, Volvo Trucks now has orders for more than 100 VNR Electric models scheduled to be delivered and deployed in fleet operations throughout California over the next two years.
Delivered by Volvo Trucks’ dealership Gateway Truck & Refrigeration, QCD’s 14 Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be operating various delivery distribution routes within Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
“Gateway Truck & Refrigeration is proud to be a part of this landmark project,” said Zach Wagner, principal for Gateway Truck & Refrigeration. “The real-world insights gained from these vehicles operating in QCD’s daily routes will help us continue to offer the Volvo VNR Electric to our fleet customers.”
Through the Inland Port Program, a total of $37.2 million in MSRC funding is available to assist fleet owners in the Inland Empire in their transition to zero- or near-zero emission goods movement helping to improve air quality for the region. Since 1990, the MSRC has invested more than $400 million in hundreds of clean transportation initiatives that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles throughout the South Coast basin. By providing valuable insights into the trucks’ operational performance and charging requirements, the Inland Ports Program will lay out a roadmap and valuable lessons learned for how regional-haul and distribution fleets can successfully invest in and scale battery-electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
“The funding the MSRC is providing is an essential investment in the air quality and health of all residents in the South Coast basin, and specifically for Inland Empire residents,” said Larry McCallon, MSRC chair. “Now that the technology exists to help green our local goods movement, we are thrilled to be able to help QCD, through Volvo Trucks and VFS, make this historic transition to cleaner vehicles.”
Along with project partners Volvo Trucks North America, VFS and QCD, industry-leading electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider Greenlots will design and install eight high-power charging stations at QCD’s Fontana distribution center to power the electric trucks. Learnings from the deployment of the first VNR Electric model and charging infrastructure will provide QCD the valuable information needed to expand its fleet of zero-emission trucks.
"Volvo Trucks and VFS continue to pave the way for truck electrification," said Andreas Lips, chief executive officer of Greenlots. "Greenlots is proud to support these efforts with fast-charging solutions and data services that continue to innovate and improve electric vehicle charging for the fleet industry."