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Albertsons Cos. Accomplishes a Grocery Industry First

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A Volvo VNR electric truck was paired with an electric-powered transport refrigeration unit to make the first commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck in the U.S.

It happened on May 28, and it’s being called the country’s first zero-emission commercial grocery delivery by a Class 8 truck ever.

It originated at an Albertsons Cos.’ distribution center in Irvine, Calif., where a refrigerated electric semi-trailer truck was loaded up and sent on its way for delivery.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. is one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S. and operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under more than 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco and others. The company recently purchased two Volvo VNR electric trucks for its Irvine distribution center. 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 service Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores in Southern California.

Albertsons procured electric-powered transport refrigeration units from Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) to pair with its Volvo VNR electric trucks, enabling it to make the first commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck in the U.S. The inaugural delivery took place at a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified Albertsons store in Irvine.

Albertsons Cos. 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. 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 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 Cos. “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.”

Increasing its transportation sustainability is just one way in which Albertsons Cos. said it is reducing its environmental impact. In April, Albertsons Cos. committed to setting a science-based target to reduce carbon emissions. The company’s emissions reduction target will include its direct operations and value chain in order to support the goals of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. In order to meet its climate goals, Albertsons Cos. said it will leverage innovative technology like Volvo VNR Electric trucks, and continue to implement expansive energy- efficiency projects and produce renewable energy

“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.”

The Volvo VNR electrics Albertsons acquired 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, 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.

Visit here to learn more about Albertsons Cos.’ sustainability efforts.

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