Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said Wednesday that it will convert its Portland, Oregon, factory so that it can begin making its all-electric trucks there from 2021.
The plan to convert the Portland factory, where the truckmaker already makes its Freightliner trucks, is the next step for the company whose CEO Roger Nielsen told attendees at an expo in Long Beach last month that, “The road to emissions-free transportation is going to be driven with battery-electric vehicles. I believe the future is electric.”
DTNA says the conversion of the factory will include setting it up to run on 100% renewable energy from the very start of production of its battery electric Freightliners, as well as sustainable ” zero waste to landfill protocols”.
The decision to use the Portland factory as its key all-electric truck production facility is, according to Oregon Live, because of its proximity to California, which has a large truck market and due to the fact of its strict air quality regulations is a growing market for zero and low emissions vehicles.
In addition to converting the Portland plant for electric truckmaking, DTNA says it will also incorporate a battery storage facility and develop a program with which to assist customers transition fleets to all-electric trucks.
As reported by The Driven last month, Daimler is the supplier of 52% of trucks in North America, accounting for around 750,000 vehicles in total.
It has big plans for long haul transport in North America, having also advertised to fill a position for a senior engineer to assist with the development of a massive 3MW high-powered charging system for trucks, and according to Oregon Live, DTNA will hire an additional 200 staff, largely at its Portland facility, to develop self-driving trucks.
Last year, DTNA unveiled two all-electric trucks in June made by its subsidiary Freightliner, the eCascadia and the Freightliner eM2.
In addition to making all-electric trucks in Portland, DTNA says it will also assemble Proterra-powered Thomas Built electric school buses in North Carolina.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.