A Montérégie transportation company that has just received its first electric trucks from Quebec’s Kenworth is seduced by the quiet technology of these new life-size toys.
“The two trucks, the terminal and the electrical connections are a nearly one million dollar project,” explains Marilyn Bourassa, fleet manager at Transport Bourassa in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
“They have about 250 kilometers of autonomy. We take stats for the people of Kenworth to push the technology forward,” she continues.
Made in the Seattle suburbs
Fresh out of the Kenworth plant in Reton, a suburb of Seattle, Washington, these two orange T680E trucks traversed America from west to east before ending up at Transport Bourassa.
Each truck is worth $412,000, but government rebates can go as high as $300,000, which could total $112,000 per truck.
This type of vehicle costs three times as much as the same petrol engine, so subsidies from Quebec and Ottawa are more than welcome.
No gas, maintenance costs five times lower, regenerative braking… Marilyn Bourassa is thrilled with her new trucks.
Next to her, the driver Éric Beaudoin is dazzled by this new toy with which he navigates the roads of the MRC du Haut-Richelieu.
As is often the case when driving an electric vehicle for the first time, the silence in the passenger compartment is striking.
Mental exhaustion is also less severe at the end of the day, he notes.
“The electric truck is 85% quieter. It is noticeable when entering the residential areas. It makes almost no noise,” he says.
“Driving is really different. It’s a bit exotic,” adds Éric Beaudouin.
At Kenworth Maska, who sold them, there are countless curious customers. “Demand is growing,” says Sales Manager Patrick-Olivier Tremblay.
At the Quebec Trucking Association (ACQ), its CEO, Marc Cadieux, confirms that the appetite for electric vehicles is growing.
“Increasingly, our members are asking us to explore with government subsidies and funding that are commensurate with the value and cost of this equipment,” he points out.
However, autonomy is still an issue. Trucks can be handy for delivering goods nearby, but covering thousands of miles in deep America is another matter.
“It’s not tomorrow that we’re going to have that to get fruit and veg in California or the Midwest. It has fairly limited autonomy,” concludes Benoit Therrien, President of Truck Stop Québec.
Earlier this year, a first Volvo VNR electric truck was delivered to Groupe Morneau, becoming the first to go live in Quebec.
- Foundation, endowment : 1956
- The headquarters : Saint Jean sur Richelieu
- Employee : 550 employees
- TRUCK: 225
- Follower: 750
Source: Transport Bourassa