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Albertsons makes first US commercial 100% electric refrigerated grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck; Volvo Trucks and AEM

Albertsons Companies, the second-largest grocery chain in the US, recently took delivery of two Volvo VNR Electric trucks at its distribution center in Irvine, California. The VNR Electric models from Volvo Trucks North America are the first zero-tailpipe emission, battery-electric Class 8 trucks to be deployed in Albertsons Cos. company-wide fleet, and will be serving Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores in Southern California.

Albertsons has procured electric-powered transport refrigeration units from Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) to pair with its Volvo VNR Electrics, enabling Albertsons Cos. to make the first commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck in the US.

Volvo VNR Electric Albertsons Parked

A Volvo VNR Electric paired with an electric-powered transport refrigeration unit from Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) made the first commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck in the US.

The inaugural delivery took place on 28 May at a LEED-certified Albertsons store in Irvine, California.

Albertsons Cos. operates 1,400 Class 8 trucks nationwide, all of which are certified under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program as meeting high transportation sustainability and efficiency standards. The Southern California fleet, which is made up entirely of trucks manufactured by Volvo Trucks, covers 335 stores in the region, running from the Central Coast to the California-Mexico border.

The Volvo VNR Electrics Albertsons acquired through Volvo Financial Services (VFS) are part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, an innovative collaboration between Volvo Trucks North America, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), and 12 other organizations to develop a robust support ecosystem to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the North American transport industry at scale.

To help Albertsons maximize vehicle uptime, TEC Equipment, Volvo Trucks’ largest West Coast dealership and a Volvo LIGHTS project partner, will provide contracted maintenance and repairs through the premier Volvo Gold Contract service offering at its location in Fontana, California. TEC Equipment, as well as dealers throughout the Western US, will receive continued battery-electric vehicle support and access to expert knowledge about the VNR Electric model with the addition of a new Volvo Trucks training facility in Hayward, California. This 9,600-square-foot location will facilitate programs for Volvo Trucks’ employees, dealer technicians, sales staff, and aftermarket personnel, as well as owner-operators and fleet customers.



The use of fuel cells both for refrigerated transport and in storage is one of the major opportunities, and likely to lead to very large energy savings:

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Great post! It got me thinking about where FC tech may be useful.
First, a caveat about BEV trucks. According to the Bureau of Transportation (USDOT), Freight Facts and Figures 2017, Table 2-3 Total Freight Moved by Distance: 2015, 67% of freight by weight moved a distance of 249 miles (400 km) or less
This probably explains why Traton is focusing on BEV only; or that the Daimler eCascadia has a 400 km range (475 kW battery) and the Tesla Semi has a 480 km range (500kWh battery). BTW the Volvo VNR Electric has a 275 kWh battery and a 150 mile range.
Now, as your post suggests add dual use hydrogen storage, great idea. HRL Labs six years ago came up with a metal hydride that when it discharges, the metal hydride on the cold side releases hydrogen gas and cools (
The HRL project goal was to address the critical need of heating and cooling electric vehicles more efficiently. Maybe, a small fuel cell using some of the hydrogen gas could even handle the vehicle "hotel loads" like the current 12 V battery.


Lots of power for the refrigeration



It is at least theoretically possible to use a fuel cell to reduce the oxygen content, and preserve food that way without freezing.

Here was a load of fish which was transported that way, but I have not heard anymore about employing the tech that way since:

And here was an experiment using it, which apparently was screwed up:

There was also talk at around the same time of using the atmosphere changing abilities of fuel cells to enhance fire suppression in data centres:

Now fuel cells are more economic no doubt people will be experimenting with them again for both food preservation and fire suppression.

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