UNFI Class 8 Fleet Welcomes All-Electric Units


United Natural Foods Inc. has deployed two battery-electric semi-trucks and five regenerative electric refrigerated trailer systems in the Sacramento and Gilroy, Calif., markets.

UNFI worked with Penske Truck Leasing to secure two Class 8 electric trucks: the Freightliner eCascadia and Volvo VNR Electric. Both vehicles feature easy charging and ample battery range and torque to meet UNFI’s typical freight hauling and delivery needs.

UNFI will combine these trucks with refrigerated trailers cooled by Carrier’s Vector eCool transport refrigeration unit. The all-electric Vector eCool uses power generated by ConMet eMobility’s nMotion TR 160-45, an in-wheel electric motor application that repurposes energy captured during coasting and braking.

UNFI recently completed a study focused on heavy-duty fleet electrification planning, funded by the CA Energy Commission. The results are helping to define the steps required to implement charging infrastructure and electric vehicles at multiple locations, including the company facility in Gilroy.

“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,” says Nick Selders, VP of transportation at UNFI.

“We’re pleased to collaborate with innovative customers like UNFI as they implement their fleet electrification initiatives and advance their sustainability commitments,” adds Penske Truck Leasing’s Patrick Watt. “We were able to accelerate this project with funding through California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project. 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.”

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