MONTANDON – The order of five Volvo VNR Electric semi-trailers by Patton Logistics Group for operations at its warehouse in Dublin, Va., Makes Valley company the first in that state to operate a fleet of electric semi-trailers, according to the company president, Steve. Patton.
In a bit of corporate synergy, the zero tailpipe trucks will haul goods between Patton’s new 251,000 square foot warehouse and Volvo’s manufacturing facility in New River Valley, also in Dublin.
The trucks are expected to be delivered to Patton in the first quarter of 2022. They will make 10 to 12 round trips per day in Virginia, averaging about 160 miles per day. Patton is also considering the possible development of an electric truck hub at the company’s headquarters in Milton.
He said Patton Logistics Group’s electric trucks will be among the first in a fleet, if not the first, for a Pennsylvania-based company.
“This is a real partnership,” Patton said of the relationship with Volvo. “They can have a fossil fuel-free logistics solution from our warehouse to their factory. “
Jared Brokenshire, director of operations, said Watsontown Trucking will save 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel per truck each year. There are also fewer moving parts to fail; no engine oil or coolant to change, no lubrication points, no transmission fluid.
Chris Patton, vice president, Patton Logistics Group, said environmental sustainability is a priority for the company.
“Going zero emissions is part of that goal as a business,” said Chris Patton.
Volvo manufactures all of its truck inventory in North America, including electric models, at its plant in New River Valley. Electric trucks entered mass production earlier this year.
The Patton Group has expressed interest in Volvo for the acquisition of the trucks. Volvo engineers analyzed Patton’s routes by examining the terrain the vehicles would travel, the distance as well, as well as the downtime at the point of origin and delivery destination.
The Volvo VNR Electric’s 264 kWh lithium-ion batteries have a range of up to 150 miles, just short of Patton’s intended round trip. Regenerative braking can increase range by returning up to 15% power back to the battery, depending on the duty cycle.
The trucks will be recharged at night and during the stopping day at the recharging stations at the Volvo Trucks assembly plant. They can be charged up to 80% in 70 minutes. A lack of semi-truck charging stations prohibits regional use of trucks for the time being, Patton said, explaining that they cannot be loaded with passenger vehicle chargers appearing at gas stations.
“They want everyone who supports their business to have the same goals. Not only do we buy their product, we deliver freight to their factory with zero emissions, ”Brokenshire said.
Thierry Lindor, Senior Director of Business Development, noted how parts for electric trucks are already passing through the Patton warehouse. He said a solar-powered trucking terminal and repair shop were under construction in Dublin. It should open by the end of 2022. Chris Patton added that the site will be a full operational hub with dispatch, maintenance and human relations.
“This is the future where we’ll end up charging these electric trucks,” Lindor said. “This is the first place where we will have trained mechanics who can work on these electric trucks.
Patton employs over 200 people at its Dublin site. He is considering an expansion in North Carolina for a 600,000 square foot warehouse. The plans are to bring electric vehicles to a specific potential customer there, Patton said.
When it comes to electric trucks in Pennsylvania, Patton believes that a hub at its Montandon headquarters could see the light of day in 2023. According to Lindor, the company is able to qualify and receive up to $ 100,000. for every truck thanks to the Alternative Fuels Incentive from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Grant, which caps at $ 300,000.
“It’s not a question of if, but when,” Brokenshire said.
Watsontown Trucking recently received the Great West Safety Award for its outstanding road safety achievements. This is a # 1 award in Pennsylvania for general cargo truck loads. The award was presented in cooperation with the American Trucking Association.