News roundup, Jan. 17: Werner to deploy electric Peterbilt 579 in testing; Love’s looks to continue expanding in 2020

Updated Jan 20, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday,  Jan. 17: 

Werner to deploy electric Pete in real-world testing
Werner Enterprises is set to kick off its first electric-powered truck pilot program this year.

Earlier this month, the Omaha, Nebraska-based carrier took possession of a 2019 Peterbilt 579 EV Class 8 electric and plans to run the truck for a year on a dedicated route in Southern California.

Werner’s first electric-powered truck is the result of a partnership with Peterbilt, Meritor and TransPower, a San Diego-based company that specializes in battery-vehicle integration for the medium- and heavy-duty markets. Meritor, in late 2017, invested in TransPower before acquiring the company outright this week.

The electric rig can haul up to 80,000 pounds. The truck is 100 percent electric, releases zero emissions, and requires a 5 to 10-hour charge time. The truck will operate in the Los Angeles metro area.

Love’s plans to open 40 new locations in 2020
Love’s Travel Stops this week unveiled its plans for 2020, which include opening 40 new travel centers with approximately 40 news Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations. The company says it is also opening a sixth tire retread plant and distribution center in Milan, Tennessee in the first half of the year.

Additionally, Love’s says it will launch an app for Love’s Financial to help customers manage cash flow and cover fuel, maintenance and payroll expenses.

“We enter 2020 with lots of momentum that we’ll continue through customer-experience enhancements, product offerings and the best value on the road,” said Love’s President Shane Wharton. “We’ll open stores from coast to coast, continue to provide products and services that our customers depend upon and enhance our reputation as the company known for Highway Hospitality.”