EV trucks coming to Kingsburg in droves

Kingsburg Truck Center announces the purchase of new electric work trucks in preparation of incoming California laws

Derek Fleming
Published June 17, 2024  • 
9:30 am

KINGSBURG – By purchasing 141 modifiable trucks, Kingsburg Truck Center is aiming to get ahead of incoming state laws that will mandate electric trucks in the workforce.

The trucks, built by Cincinnati-based equipment manufacturer Workhorse Group, will come in three body styles that can be modified to meet many needs and are intended for “last-mile” service. These trucks will primarily be used for local deliveries to homes and businesses from distribution centers. They will function in jobs typically employing one-ton flatbeds, box trucks, and similar designs. 

“We want to get ahead of it and offer a solution to the customers that we already have – which, in getting these 141 electric vehicles, puts us light years ahead,” Kingsburg Truck Center’s EV salesman Austin Gonzalez said. “Not only are we getting them on the road in the Central Valley, but it lets us do testing and see where these things really work.”

While the new trucks offer zero emissions and many benefits, they are not without drawbacks, according to Gonzalez.

“The most important thing for us is not selling it to someone who isn’t going to be able to use it for what they do,” he said. “We are trying to get it to the people it is going to work best for.”

Gonzalez noted that the new electric trucks won’t be a solution for people hauling heavy loads or who have longer drives. The Workhorse trucks have a maximum range of just 150 miles, which is reduced when carrying more weight. 

While infrastructure remains a challenge to electric vehicle ownership, the trucks that Kingsburg Truck Center bought use what is known as Class 2 and Class 3 charging that will allow a full charge in an hour-and-a-half to two hours. 

The State of California offers many rebate programs to obtain these vehicles that are situation-specific. Among the process of applying for funding, the state requires that customers demonstrate they have the ability to charge the vehicles. Other rebates include operating in disadvantaged areas.

Gonzalez said that Kingsburg Truck Center has hired staff to specifically help customers navigate the process of identifying and applying for rebates and grants that could reduce the cost of the vehicle to around $20,000. 

Delivery of the trucks is expected to happen in 2024 and Kingsburg Truck Center is already working with potential customers to find the right fit for this emerging technology. Gonzalez said that Kingsburg Truck Center hopes to continue to be a one-stop-shop for fleet buyers as they have done since 1991 while adding new technology such as electric vehicles to their line up while providing customers with the knowledge and resources to determine the best options for each business. 

In a statement, Workhouse CEO Rick Dauch said by purchasing a large quantity of W4 CC trucks, Kingsburg Truck Sales has underscored the quality and versatility of the manufacturer’s electric work trucks.

“We’re confident that customers will appreciate the wide range of body options and upfit configurations available for the W4 CC, making it an ideal solution for various industries and trades,” Dauch said. “Our collaboration with Kingsburg is meant to provide a steady supply of upfitted, work-ready trucks for California customers.”

In August 2018, Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to identify ways to meet the state’s goal of putting five million electric vehicles into commercial fleet service by 2030. Among various fleet targets such as rental vehicles, delivery vehicles are included in the targets. 

Katie Lamb, a spokesperson for CARB, said in an email that for the year of 2023, zero-emission vehicle options made up 16% of manufacturers’ total sales.

“Sales doubled from the year prior – when California was two years ahead of schedule and now 1 out of 6 trucks sold is zero-emissions,” Lamb said.

The ultimate goal is to improve air quality across the state, which is worse off in certain regions than others. The American Lung Association grades counties on the air quality in relation to ozone, particulate and the annual number of days with unhealthy air. The city of Fresno received an “F” for ozone, an “F” for particulate, and a “Fail” for the annual number of days according to the most recently published grades. 

With that in mind, Lamb said because vehicles like last-mile delivery vehicles go in and out of neighborhoods everyday, it is crucial to reduce emissions from them to achieve the state’s long-term air quality, climate and public health goals. These are vehicles that deliver items like packages from warehouses or depots to the customer’s door.

“CARB projects that the Advanced Clean Fleet (ACF) regulation will cumulatively reduce statewide emissions by approximately 146,872 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), 6,872 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 327,000 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) from 2024 to 2050,” Lamb said. “This regulation is expected to result in $26.5 billion in statewide health benefits from improved air quality and save fleet owners an estimated $48.0 billion through 2050.”

The ACF regulations take effect in 2025 when 10% of last-mile delivery vehicles will be required to be clean energy. By 2035, the regulation requires that 100% of these fleets will be zero-emission trucks.

Derek Fleming