The all-electric Meijer tractor-trailer was one of the heftiest rides to roll into the 2023 Michigan International Auto Show, and its zero-emissions engine gave it a light footprint when it comes to environmental impact.
Meijer made its first appearance in the auto show at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids this year, and we were proud to rock the show’s Electric Avenue, a space devoted to electric vehicles, big and small.
“We’re helping further the technology. What we learn in this real-world operation will eventually pay dividends when we are able to deploy these,” said Dave Hoover, Director of Outbound Logistics at Meijer.
Meijer is one of the first companies nationwide to work with Daimler Truck North America to track the performance of the manufacturer’s Freightliner eCascadia semitrucks in a cold-weather environment as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“I’m thankful we’re a part of this test to help bring this to the future,” Dave said. “I strongly believe this is the future … and we’re helping further the technology.”
And you can’t ask for a much better place to do these tests than in Michigan during the winter.
Working with Daimler, Dave and his team are logging data on the battery’s range and how that is impacted by weather and load weights.
Previously, the battery-powered semis were tested in sunny southern California.
“Weather has a major effect on the battery,” said Dave, adding that the first battery-electric semis didn’t have heaters or defrosters. “We need to have trucks that can go across the whole United States and be functional.”
Those who missed the auto show can look for the two Meijer electric trucks on the road making deliveries to our stores. The semis operate out of our Lansing Distribution Center, which is equipped with charging infrastructure, allowing them to make multiple deliveries daily to Meijer supercenters within a 200-mile range of the distribution center.
“If you’re traveling (Interstate) 96 between Lansing and Grand Rapids, you’ll probably see it on the road daily,” Dave said.