Story By: JEREMY TROIANO / TEAM PENSKE – MOORESVILLE, NC – On Thursday, Team Penske and long-time partner Freightliner, part of Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), made history by using the pre-production, fully-electric Freightliner eCascadia semi-truck to pull a full-sized Team Penske racecar hauler to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ahead of this weekend’s Clash event.
The electric semi-truck pulled the trailer from a Penske Truck Leasing (PTL) location in Ontario, Calif. to the inaugural race at the L.A. Coliseum as part of Freightliner’s primary sponsorship of the No. 2 Freightliner eCascadia Ford driven by NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Austin Cindric. The eCascadia will remain on display throughout race weekend to give fans a firsthand look at the battery electric truck.
“Team Penske has been evolving with Freightliner since 1984,” said Team Penske Transportation Director Chris Yoder, who oversees 20 Freightliner trucks at the team’s Mooresville, N.C. headquarters and piloted the eCascadia during the historic drive. “I think it’s safe to say we’ve operated every model road tractor Freightliner has produced since 1984. Yesterday’s trip with the eCascadia will mark the pinnacle of our partnership. Together we’ve innovated and developed on the ground floor and this trip is symbolic of the next journey we plan to take together, a carbon neutral future with a focus on sustainability.”
“At Freightliner, we’re driven to deliver purposeful innovation for our customers and there’s a tremendous sense of pride to see the innovative all-electric Freightliner eCascadia used by our longstanding partners at Team Penske to make racing history. We look forward to cheering them on this weekend,” said Mary Aufdemberg, general manager, product strategy and market development, DTNA.
The eCascadia used by Team Penske is part of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet, which includes 20 battery electric trucks in operation by PTL and its customers. The fleet began operation in 2019 and was supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin of Southern California and partially funded the project.
“We’re committed to leading our industry in the transition to commercial electric vehicles and providing increasingly more sustainable truck options to our customers,” said Art Vallely, President of Penske Truck Leasing. “We continue to test new and innovative vehicles in our fleet, and we have been impressed with the performance of these Freightliner vehicles.”
To date, PTL has accumulated over 480,000 miles of use on the trucks, providing DTNA valuable feedback for the final series production coming in late 2022. The two companies share a passion for long term sustainability and carbon neutrality, making the development process even more meaningful with Team Penske ready to author the next chapter in an incredibly successful partnership on the racetrack.
A leader in global transportation systems, PTL constructed charging infrastructure across six locations in California. Technology partners also involved in this project included Team Penske sponsors such as Shell, Hitachi, and Siemens. Currently, PTL operates 10 Freightliner eCascadia day cab tractors and 10 Freightliner eM2 fully electric box trucks running regular routes to customers around Southern California with a focus forward on sustainability.
Austin Cindric and the No. 2 Freightliner eCascadia Ford team kick off the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season on Sunday with the inaugural running of The Clash, an exhibition run inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a specially designed and constructed quarter-mile track inside the iconic venue.