VESTAL, N.Y. — Commercial truck dealer Burr Truck and Trailer Sales has officially launched the sale of battery-powered electric trucks at its 2901 Vestal Road sales and service center.
The company held a kickoff event on Nov. 6 to show off its Volvo and Workhorse electric trucks. Burr is the first Workhorse distribution and service provider in New York.
“The demand is there now with the incentives that are out there,” Burr’s director of sales Mark Stone says of why the dealership felt now was the right time to add battery electric trucks to its lineup. Burr sells trucks in classes 3-8, ranging in size from local delivery trucks to heavy duty and semi-trucks and has electric options across its portfolio.
It’s really that class 4 size, the local delivery trucks, that Stone thinks will really take off with battery electric sales. “It’s last mile delivery,” he says, so businesses like UPS, Amazon Prime, or any company that runs local, daily delivery routes.
In a truck with a diesel engine, those engines are putting out a lot of emissions as those trucks constantly run and idle during deliveries.
With a battery-powered electric truck, there are no emissions, he notes. No burning through fuel at $3.70 or more a gallon. A fully charged truck has a range of 150 miles and will easily handle a daily route. “Then they can come back to home base and slow charge overnight,” Stone says. At between 58 cents and 60 cents per kilowatt, it costs an average of $35 to fully charge, compared with about $200 to fill the gas tank, he contends.
Burr Truck and Trailer Sales’ electric trucks also average just one-third of diesel truck maintenance costs, Stone adds.
With the state’s strong push towards cleaner fuels, Burr wanted to get into the game early, Stone says of the battery-powered electric trucks. The demand is already there in the state’s more urban markets and is only going to grow.
“We saw this as an opportunity for us to solve a problem,” he says. Along with helping the environment, getting on board now also helps clients as there are currently a lot of incentives to help companies make the switch to battery electric, he notes.
Even Burr was able to benefit from those incentives, getting reimbursed for 80 percent of the company’s cost to upgrade its facility to battery electric trucks and adding a public level 3 fast-charge station. That public charger has at least eight customers a day, he adds.
It took Burr Truck and Trailer Sales about a year to complete all the necessary training to become certified as a battery electric dealer along with the site work, which included upgrading the facility’s electric panel and adding an additional transformer.
Stone points out that with all the work Burr did to write grant applications for various incentives, the dealership offers that expertise to customers as they add battery electric vehicles to their own fleets.
“We are the strategic partner for the customers,” he says. “We help soup to nuts.”
Looking ahead, Stone expects that battery-powered electric sales will equal about one-third of Burr’s business within five years. For 2024, he projects the dealership will have battery electric sales well over $2.5 million.
Burr Truck, founded in 1967, is a third-generation, family-owned commercial dealership offering sales, leasing, and service.