California-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has added 25 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to its distribution fleet as part of a partnership with Ryder System, Inc. Fresh & Easy’s new natural gas vehicles produce 20 to 30 percent less emissions than comparable diesel vehicles and are part of the company’s efforts to reduce emissions.
The vehicles were made available through a $38.7 million Ryder/San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) project that is part of a joint public/private partnership between the US Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder.
Fresh & Easy already has introduced trailers that include a hybrid refrigeration vector unit which reduces the amount of fuel used to safely cool and transport store products. Trailers also include an automatic refrigeration shut-off when optimum temperature is reached inside the cooling chamber, as well as a complete engine shut-off once parked at the stores. At the distribution center, Fresh & Easy has utilized plug-in electrical stand-by technology so no fuel is used to run refrigeration units on parked trailers.
On average, Fresh & Easy stores use 30% less energy than a typical supermarket, the company says. Fresh & Easy is a pilot member of the LEED Volume Certification Program, demonstrating its commitment to build sustainable buildings, and also has the most currently certified GreenChill stores in the nation. At its distribution center, Fresh & Easy invested $13 million in a 500,000 square foot solar roof installation which produces 20% of the energy for the entire facility.