IRVINE, Calif. — Albertsons Cos. in late May made the nation’s first commercial zero-emission grocery delivery using a Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric truck. This inaugural delivery, made to a LEED-certified Albertsons store in Irvine, California, is an exciting step toward achieving Albertson’s sustainability goals, according to a company statement.
Albertsons Companies, the second-largest grocery chain in the U.S., recently took delivery of two Volvo VNR Electric trucks. 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’ company-wide fleet, and will be serving Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores. Albertsons paired electric-powered transport refrigeration units from Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) with the two Volvo VNR Electrics.
“We are thrilled to continue our long-term partnership with Albertsons Cos. as they begin their journey toward fleet electrification and achieve this momentous accomplishment of a fully zero-emission grocery delivery,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Albertsons’ commitment to corporate sustainability is demonstrated by the steps it is taking to reduce its carbon footprint in its stores and fleet. We are confident that the Volvo VNR Electrics Albertsons is deploying in southern California will enable the company to not only reduce its emissions, but to make reliable daily deliveries to its grocery stores throughout the region.”
Albertsons operates 1,400 Class 8 trucks nationwide, all of which are certified under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program as meeting high transportation sustainability and efficiency standards. Albertsons’ Southern California fleet, which is made up entirely of tractors manufactured by Volvo Trucks, covers 335 stores in the region, running from the Central Coast to the California-Mexico border.
A company statement notes that Albertsons works to maintain sustainability goals in all sectors of its operations, including energy use, plastics and packaging, and recycling and waste reduction. In April, the company committed to setting a science-based target to reduce carbon emissions in its direct operations and value chains to support the goals of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. To meet these climate goals, Albertsons Cos. will utilize innovative technology, such as electric trucks, and continue to implement expansive energy-efficiency projects and produce renewable energy.
“The partnership Albertsons has built with Volvo Trucks has enabled our fleet to be on the forefront of innovation and to demonstrate our leadership in sustainable transportation,” said Tim Burke, vice president of transportation for Albertsons. “We look forward to operating Volvo VNR Electric trucks in our southern California routes, as they will not only help improve air quality in the communities in which we operate, but the quiet motors will also provide a better working environment for our drivers and grocery store staff.”
The Volvo VNR Electric trucks Albertsons acquired are part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, a collaboration between Volvo Trucks North America, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (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.
“By taking this major step, Albertsons has demonstrated the viability of a sustainable, zero-emission goods delivery future,” said Lisa Bartlett, Orange County supervisor and South Coast AQMD governing board member. “South Coast AQMD commends Albertsons and the Volvo LIGHTS project for helping us reach this milestone, paving the way for future fleets to improve air quality throughout the South Coast Air Basin.”