United Natural Foods Deploys Zero-Emission Refrigerated Delivery System in California

Oct. 19, 2023
Two battery-electric semi-trucks and five zero-emission refrigerated trailer systems will not only reduce emissions by 2030 but also lower delivery cost per mile

United Natural Foods (UNFI) is deploying two battery-electric semi-trucks and five regenerative electric refrigerated trailer systems in the Sacramento and Gilroy, California markets.

“The introduction of these efficient electric trucks and refrigerated trailers is a huge step forward, not only toward lowering our delivery costs-per-mile and achieving our own clean transportation goals, but also in helping UNFI achieve California’s ambitious goals on the adoption of zero-emission vehicles,” said Nick Selders, VP of Transportation at UNFI. “Implementing this zero-emission delivery solution will enable us to become more cost-efficient and prevent hundreds of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere per year.”

UNFI and Penske Truck Leasing partnered to secure two class-8 electric trucks, namely the Freightliner eCascadia and the Volvo VNR Electric models.

The vehicles, well equipped for safety and driver comfort, have air-ride seats, air suspension, easy charging, and ample battery range and torque to meet UNFI’s freight hauling and delivery requirements.

The trucks will be combined with refrigerated trailers cooled by Carrier’s Vector eCool transport refrigeration unit (TRU).

The TRU uses power generated by ConMet eMobility’s nMotion TR 160-45, an in-wheel electric motor application repurposing energy captured during coasting and braking.

“We were able to accelerate this project with funding through California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP),” said Patrick Watt, Vice President, Alternative Vehicle and Emerging Technology at Penske Truck Leasing. “The availability of HVIP funding is important as it helps fleets offset a portion of the incremental costs of implementing new, commercial electric vehicle technologies.”