Michigan gets its first Class 8 commercial EV tractor

Updated Aug 15, 2018
Firefly Orange EV Bay City

Michigan, the nation’s hub of auto manufacturing, has received its first commercially deployed Class 8 electric truck.

Orange EV and Firefly Transportation services announced today that the Orange EV T-Series all-electric terminal truck will go to work providing emission-free yard management services for a leading manufacturer of consumer packaged goods in The Great Lake State.

Another T-Series truck is going to work at an unnamed manufacturing and distribution facility in California.

“To cut operating costs, improve operations, and reduce emissions all at the same time requires firms to do things differently,” commented Mike Saxton, Orange EV’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Firefly’s team of respected logistics industry leaders has built a new model for transportation services free from the burdens of older diesel technologies.”

Orange EV’s fleet of Class 8 battery-electric trucks, commercially deployed since 2015, recently surpassed 575,000 miles and 161,000 “key on” hours. According to Orange EV, fleets using its EV trucks have repeatedly affirmed increased reliability and driver satisfaction as well as reduced maintenance and downtime.

Operational cost savings are reported at $20,000 to $60,000 annually making total cost of ownership of an Orange EV truck often significantly less than its diesel counterpart.

“From a warehouse and logistics standpoint, we’ve done those jobs, been in those roles, and understand the challenges facing traditional diesel yard management where fleets are hard-pressed to find more savings or productivity. Legacy equipment and systems don’t meet the demands of today’s transportation environment,” said Mike Bohnstengel, principal partner at Firefly Transportation Services.

“Firefly’s fresh approach delivers immediate cost savings with fuel costs reduced 80 percent or more,” Bohnstengel continued. “Through onboard telematics, key performance indicators, and real-time reporting and analysis, we help clients better understand and manage current yard operations, identify efficiencies, and improve bottom line productivity.”

Compared to diesel trucks, Orange EV tractors have lower noise and vibration and run on voltages less than 120VDC, which the company says is significantly lower and safer than the 350VDC to 450VDC used by other vehicle manufacturers.

“Some find it hard to believe that an electric truck can do everything their old diesel does while also being cooler, quieter, and lower cost to operate,” said Bohnstengel. “We invite fleets to drive the Orange EV truck and experience safer, emission-free yard management for themselves.”