Diesel engines have long been the default solution to power the cooling systems in refrigerated trucks. While the emissions from the trucks themselves are regulated and have shown improvement over the past few decades, transport refrigeration is currently unregulated and therefore dirtier.
The good news is we've started a nine-month pilot in the Netherlands to test a breakthrough innovation in temperature-controlled transport, replacing the diesel refrigeration in four trailers with zero-emission battery-electric prototypes.
The system - which keeps freight chilled at temperatures down to -25°C - will be tested to run entirely on renewable electricity. If successful, the technology could help us lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our 'cold chain': the transportation and refrigeration of our products.
If successful, it could save up to 25 tonnes of CO2 per trailer annually, with air quality benefits for each vehicle equivalent to taking 70 passenger cars off the road for a year.
Our partners in the pilot are equipment service provider TIP Trailer Services, green tech experts Maxwell and Spark, and transport company Daily Logistics Group (DLG).
"With logistics and distribution accounting for around 15% of our emissions, we are moving our cold chain to cleaner sources of energy," explains Michelle Grose, our Head of Logistics and Fulfilment. "We are partnering with innovators to pioneer new technology and find new solutions. This journey of co-creation will provide us with valuable learnings and insights to help us lower emissions from our vehicle fleet."