Run on Less demo will put electric trucks to the test

Battery-electric trucks will be put through their paces during a coming North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Rocky Mountain Institute Run on Less demonstration. And Canadians are being asked to participate.

Ten fleets will be included in a three-week test run in September, culminating with an appearance at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV Show) in Atlanta, Ga. The show runs Sept. 28-30.

The trucks will likely run on different duty cycles, including a cross-section of panel vans, medium-duty box trucks, and heavy-duty trucks involved in drayage or regional hauls, says executive director Mike Roeth. Yard tractors could also be included.

“They’ll all be running real freight, real routes, real charging,” he said.

“These will all be relatively urban or relatively shorter-distance runs,” he added, referring to limitations that still apply to battery-electric vehicles.

Run on Less events have previously showcased diesel and natural gas vehicles in longhaul and regional applications.

This time, though, the participation will involve truck builders and fleets alike, since OEMs are closely involved with many early deployments. And different measurements will likely need to be used given the broad applications.

“The metrics that we are going to be showing on our dashboard will be vastly different,” Roeth said.

Different duty cycles

“There were different duty cycles in the other two runs, but this one is a lot more dynamic and different … How we measure efficiency and other measures on electric trucks, we’re really in the infancy on that.”

While the findings will be more qualitative, they will still delve deeply into actual measurements, he said.

The guidance that emerges is expected to offer insights into infrastructure requirements, total cost of ownership, training needs, and other issues.

A related educational program to be run this summer – known as the E-series — will include 10 virtual events, with 90-minute sessions offering insights into everything from infrastructure to financing. Those who participate throughout the series will also be recognized with a “badge”.

“Rather than a typical webinar where experts teach what they already know, these sessions are intended to bring together stakeholders from across the industry to support innovation, collaboration, and the acceleration of zero-emissions goods movement,” says Rob Reich, NACFE board chairman and Schneiders’ executive vice-president and chief administrative officer.

A report on the overall results is scheduled for 2022.

Dana, Meritor and Shell have already signed on as title sponsors for the event.

“We’re seeing more adoption [of battery-electric trucks]. We’re seeing more maturity. They’re proving out these technologies in the real world,” says Ryan Obert, Meritor’s director – product marketing.

Fleets interested in participating in the event can find a related application form at

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