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Daimler Truck North America’s BEV Dealer Certification Program prepares dealers to prepare uncertain BEV drivers.

Michael C. Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Battery Technology

March 13, 2024

3 Min Read
Technician examines a BEV truck power system
Technician examines a BEV truck power systemImage courtesy of DTNA

Daimler Truck North America, LLC (DTNA) has announced a comprehensive BEV Dealer Certification Program, building upon the success of its Elite Support program. This certified network of Freightliner dealers will take center stage as educators on the intricacies of electric mobility. Here’s some context as to why that’s important.

The dealer’s role as educator

The shift to sustainable energy is pivotal for the planet's future, and the adoption of battery-electric vehicles is a crucial component. (But you knew that.) Dealerships selling electric vehicles serve as frontline educators, uniquely positioned to inform and inspire the public about the importance of this transition.

By offering insights into the environmental benefits, cost savings, and ease of integration into daily life—as well as sharing the specific knowledge of how to use and maintain EVS—these dealers become ambassadors for a sustainable tomorrow, fostering a collective understanding that empowers individuals to make eco-conscious choices. In the drive towards a greener world, vehicle dealers wield significant influence in shaping a more sustainable and informed future.

DTNA’s certification program

That’s the context to keep in mind as Daimler Truck North America, LLC (DTNA) announces its new Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) Dealer Certification Program. This initiative positions truck dealers as educators on the complexities of battery-electric vehicles, marking a significant step towards reshaping the landscape of sustainable trucking.

Related:Will Electric School Buses Cultivate the Next Generation of EV Drivers?

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Building upon the success of the Elite Support program, the BEV Dealer Certification program is a comprehensive guide designed to assist customers in navigating the uncharted waters of emissions-free driving. Covering every aspect, from infrastructure optimization with Detroit eConsulting to the meticulous maintenance of electric trucks, the certification program spans over 75 specific criteria across four crucial areas.

Safety:

  • Comprehensive safety policies and training

  • Frontline safety contact person

  • Equipped with high-voltage safety-specific equipment

Charging Infrastructure:

  • Deployment of commercial vehicle charging infrastructure

  • Access to stationary or mobile charging solutions

  • Infrastructure and vehicle deployment readiness activities backed by expert-level support from the Detroit eConsulting team

Dealership Infrastructure:

  • Dedicated BEV service bays and battery storage space

  • Key parts stocking

  • Installation of safety signage

Training:

  • BEV training and resources covering all aspects of dealership business, including sales, service, and parts

Related:How Viable are Long-Haul Electric Trucks?

Drew Backeberg, senior vice president of aftermarket at DTNA, emphasized the broader impact of a BEV-certified dealer network. "For customers owning or purchasing an electric vehicle in the near term, it is likely their first experience with electrification in the heavy-duty truck space. We see it as our responsibility to support them on their journey."

Growing the number of certified dealerships

Eight dealerships have successfully completed the rigorous certification process, with the number set to double in the coming weeks. With the proliferation of electric vehicles throughout North America, DTNA aims to rapidly expand the BEV Dealer Certification throughout the Freightliner dealer network, envisioning 100 certified dealer locations by 2025.

John Hopkins, co-chair of the Freightliner Dealer Council, expressed excitement about the collaboration that led to the introduction of the BEV Dealer Certification Program, stating that it will "become the model for our entire industry, providing a safe and world-class customer experience for our battery-electric truck customers."

As DTNA continues to pioneer advancements in electric mobility, the BEV Dealer Certification Program may signal a pivotal shift in how truck dealerships see their role: Not just providers of vehicles but also indispensable educators, guiding the public through the intricate world of battery-electric vehicles and shaping a future of sustainable transportation on our roads.

Related:Freightliner and Team Penske Show Off Latest Electric Semi

About the Author(s)

Michael C. Anderson

Editor-in-Chief, Battery Technology, Informa Markets - Engineering

Battery Technology Editor-in-Chief Michael C. Anderson has been covering manufacturing and transportation technology developments for more than a quarter-century, with editor roles at Manufacturing Engineering, Cutting Tool Engineering, Automotive Design & Production, and Smart Manufacturing. Before all of that, he taught English and literature at colleges in Japan and Michigan.

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