Distribution operations looking to ease their way into the electric vehicle (EV) realm, increasingly can do so through leasing, as more and more leasing companies are adding the zero-emissions trucks into their portfolios of offerings for their delivery fleet customers. 

Leasing partners are pledging to offer more than just the latest in electric vehicle technologies for fleets. They’re offering access to charging infrastructure, advisory guidance, planning and maintenance, giving fleets a comfortable, approachable gateway to the EV universe. The past several months in particular has seen a number of significant milestones for lease providers looking to electrify their customers.  


At the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in May, Ryder unveiled its new turnkey fleet solution, RyderElectric+. The company says RyderElectric+ is designed to help fleet customers, providing a suite of offerings that include, in addition to EVs, electrification advisory services, charging capabilities, telematics and maintenance all for one price. RyderElectric+ gives customers access to electrification advisers who will help customers assess the right vehicle fit, estimate potential emission reduction and total cost impact, evaluate charging service requirements, provide guidance on grants that may be available and build a comprehensive plan for the transition to electric. Fleet customers also can take advantage of Ryder’s advanced vehicle technology, including financing, warranty as well as its national maintenance footprint, 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, telematics and chargers at select Ryder locations. 


In March, PacLease, PACCAR’s full-service lease and rental company, put its first two electric Peterbilt Model 579 EVs into service and plans to have additional leased EVs delivered throughout the year. The company is building out charging stations at select PacLease sites, but it also plans to work with fleet customers to power their own locations. PacLease says that with the growing focus on emissions reduction and on electric technology, the company has invested significantly in robust charging infrastructure, certified technicians and Kenworth and Peterbilt medium- and heavy-duty EVs at its U.S.-based leasing company stores. 


Also in March, Velocity Truck Rental & Leasing, a division of Velocity Vehicle Group, added 200 battery-electric vehicles from Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), including 125 Class 8 Freightliner eCascadias and 75 Freightliner eM2s, for the California market. Both models are designed to run up to 230 miles. Through its partnership with DTNA, Velocity serves on the Electric Vehicle Council, as well as the Customer Experience fleet to test the eCascadia in real-world applications. With the two EV models in its inventory, combined with supporting charging infrastructure set up to charge the trucks in 90 minutes or less, Velocity says its customers will be able to integrate zero-emissions trucks into their operations quickly and cost-effectively. Velocity’s electric investment included 39 dual-port 150kW chargers at multiple locations throughout Southern California. 

Penske & Daimler

Speaking of Daimler, late last year, Penske Truck Leasing and DTNA announced the delivery of two battery electric Freightliner eCascadia vehicles, marking the culmination of a five-year-old joint initiative that involved co-creation, refinement and field testing of EVs. Penske says it has been an early adopter EV technology, having invested in testing, maintaining and building out charging infrastructure. Penske plans to add more electric vehicles, which will also include the Freightliner eM2, to its inventory for full-service leasing.