Daimler Trucks North America is expanding field tests for its electric-powered trucks. This time the emphasis is on heavy-duty lorries.

Customers Penske Truck Leasing and NFI Industries have acquired the first heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia trucks (class 8), which have a range of up to 400km (250 miles).

Penske will operate its lorry in Southern California traffic, while NFI will employ its eCascadia in drayage operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Both carriers have been field testing Daimler’s medium-duty, fully electric Freightliner eM2 since the end of last year.

The two eCascadias are the first heavy-duty trucks in Freightliner’s North American innovation fleet of 30 electric vehicles. Market launch for the eCascadia and eM2 is currently planned for 2021.

Last year Daimler Trucks & Buses set up an e-mobility group to define its strategy for electric components and products. The work is being carried out at the company’s plants in Portland (US), Stuttgart (Germany) and Kawasaki (Japan).