Dependable Highway Express Electrifies California Operations


Dependable Highway Express (DHE), a freight operator, has completed several electrification initiatives to further reduce the climate and air quality impacts of its Southern California freight operations. 

Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, DHE introduced charging infrastructure to its Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks, battery-electric yard trucks and forklifts. To further solidify DHE’s ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations, DHE has signed a letter of commitment to purchase an additional 10 Volvo VNR Electric trucks in 2022.

“DHE is a prime example of a fleet leading the path towards sustainable freight movement,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “DHE’s partnership has been critical to the success of the Volvo LIGHTS project over the past two years. We are proud that DHE is planning to deploy additional VNR Electric trucks in the very near future – a true testament to moving electromobility and sustainable transport solutions forward in the trucking industry.”

Introduced two years ago, the Volvo LIGHTS project is a collaboration between Volvo Trucks, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and 13 other organizations to develop a blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale.

This past September, DHE began piloting two Volvo VNR Electric heavy-duty trucks out of its Ontario, Calif., facility. Operating between 60 and 80 miles daily, the vehicles continue to transport goods between warehouse facilities throughout Southern California. As part of the Volvo LIGHTS project, the VNR Electric trucks run various routes while collecting data on the vehicles’ performance under differing road and real-world operating conditions.

To install and maintain the charging infrastructure needed to support the electric trucks and equipment, DHE worked closely with Volvo Trucks North America, Southern California Edison, Greenlots, ABB, Core States and Ontario in order to upgrade the facility’s power supply and install two 150 kW chargers. The chargers will utilize Greenlots’ SKY software to effectively balance the electricity demand from the trucks, equipment, existing facilities and the electricity grid.

Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, DHE has replaced 100% of the freight equipment being used in its Ontario shipping and receiving facility with battery-electric models, reducing noise and air pollution and providing their employees with quieter, cleaner and safer working conditions. DHE currently operates 14 Yale Electric forklifts – supported by eight Level 2 (L2) forklift chargers – and two Orange EV yard tractors supported by an additional two L2 chargers.

To further mitigate grid impacts and energy costs, DHE worked with Solar Optimum, a solar installation company, to install more than 2,300 solar panels on the roof of its Ontario facility and employee parking canopies. Annually, the solar panels will generate 1.291 GWh of renewable electricity.

Volvo Trucks North America began taking customer orders for its battery-electric VNR Electric model on Dec. 3, 2020. Production of the Volvo VNR Electric is slated to begin in early 2021 at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va.

To learn more about the Volvo LIGHTS project, click here.

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