Location: Milan, MO

Fleet Type: Electric Trucks

 

Narrative

While the primary partners of Metropolitan Energy Center are based in the Kansas City metro, we are open to and encourage opportunities with regions throughout Missouri and Kansas. Our EVUM grant given to Hirschbach is a prime example of this.

Hirschbach Motor Lines, the trucking provider for Smithfield’s site in Milan, MO, brought this location to MEC. In their proposal, Hirschbach will own the electric truck, and its employees on-site (eleven of them) will be driving it. Our grant will further replace 1 of 2 Hirschbach’s diesel spotter trucks onsite. However, Hirshbach plans on purchasing a second electric truck to replace the other diesel onsite.

We would also like to note that through this grant, Hirschbach and other project fleets are providing 15% overmatch contributions to fund a small grants program for underserved communities. Small grant recipients will define for themselves what project features would be locally most beneficial, like projects to install public electric vehicle charging stations in parking lots and curbsides near multi-unit residential complexes and retail businesses.

Let’s touch more on the company and the location. First, the company. Hirschbach was established in 1935 and has been around for 85+ years. Many benefits are offered to the company’s employees, including daily, weekly, and bi-weekly home time, weekly minimum pay incentive, excellent benefit packages, paid time off, and monthly loyalty & safety incentive pay. MEC is glad to be working with a business that offers many benefits to its employees.

Moreover, MEC was especially glad to provide this grant because of the location’s demographics to consider. Not only is Milan, Missouri, a rural area, but it is a disadvantaged and historically marginalized community. 38.9% of households speak a language other than English at home (34.4% speak Spanish), and 34.5% of residents are not U.S. Citizens. The median income is below the average for the state of Missouri (by nearly $15,000), and the poverty rate is 19.6% (Missouri’s average is 13%). We hope this grant helps support a community that is deserving of it.

Through this grant and others, our organization has worked with dozens of municipalities, schools, businesses, and more to deploy cleaner, more efficient fuels across Kansas and Missouri. We are a small team but are working on expanding our scope to more rural areas.

Outputs and Outcomes

The Outputs of the EVUM project for Hirschbach are the deployment of 1 EV spotter truck and the replacement of one yard truck. These deployments have already started positively impacting the quality of life for its employees, who are used to working around purely diesel emissions all day. This particular Hirschbach freight yard is in a disadvantaged community that experiences higher rates of poverty and environmental issues. Things like air quality are a serious issue, and offsetting the daily transportation emissions with large-scale EVs is the first step to helping this region. The Outcomes of the EVUM project for Hirschbach are providing the community with a start to cleaner air, and a higher quality of life for many of the community members that are employees at this freight yard. It has also pushed Hirscbach to consider electrifying other vehicles in their fleet. They are already planning to purchase another EV spotter truck on their own dime. This grant has helped the organization realize the benefits EVs can bring to their community and their place of operations.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

One lesson learned from Hirschbach is to value your employees and their quality of life. Hirschbach was aware of the higher pollution rates in this region and saw the opportunity to bridge this gap by working with us on the EVUM project. Since they counted as a disadvantaged community, we were able to collaborate with them on this project. EVs can bring health benefits along with the reduced emissions they offer. This is a massive upside to electrification and a lesson learned from working with Hirschbach on the EVUM project.

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EVUM – Hirschbach Fleet Story

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