United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has taken a significant step towards a cleaner and more efficient delivery system, just in time for the bustling holiday season in Sacramento and Gilroy, California. The company has unveiled two battery-electric semi-trucks and five regenerative electric refrigerated trailer systems, marking a commitment to eco-friendly logistics. UNFI collaborated with Penske Truck Leasing, based in Reading, Pennsylvania, to acquire two class-8 electric trucks, specifically the Freightliner eCascadia and the Volvo VNR Electric models. These electric vehicles come equipped with air-ride seats, air suspension, easy charging capabilities, and ample battery range and torque, ensuring they meet UNFI’s typical freight-hauling and delivery requirements. These electric trucks will pair with refrigerated trailers cooled by Carrier’s Vector eCool transport refrigeration unit (TRU). The Vector eCool is an all-electric solution that harnesses power generated by ConMet eMobility’s nMotion TR 160-45, an in-wheel electric motor application designed to capture and repurpose energy during coasting and braking. The deployment of this cutting-edge technology aligns with UNFI’s mission to decrease greenhouse-gas emissions and harmful pollutants throughout the fleet’s lifecycle, all while enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of product deliveries to customers.
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, UNFI is North America’s premier grocery wholesaler, delivering the widest variety of fresh, branded, and owned brand products to more than 30,000 locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce providers, and food service customers.