Major Companies Accelerating Shift to Sustainable Trucking Fleets

From PepsiCo to Amazon, big businesses are rapidly electrifying delivery vehicles and private fleets to reduce emissions.

Major Companies Accelerating Shift to Sustainable Trucking Fleets
Image Source: PepsiCo

Sustainability is the new watchword for major companies, and the transportation sector is emerging as a key battleground. Big names like PepsiCo and Amazon are making aggressive moves to electrify their trucking fleets and slash emissions.

The beverage giant recently announced plans to triple its electric fleet in California, adding 50 Tesla Semi trucks and 75 Ford e-Transit vans. This builds on PepsiCo's earlier order of 100 Tesla Semis back in 2017 (though only 36 were initially delivered).

But PepsiCo is just one player in a bigger trend:

  • Coca-Cola aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2035 and be carbon neutral by 2050
  • Amazon reported a spike in emissions from shifting to its own logistics network in 2022
  • The EPA recently instituted strict new emissions rules for heavy trucks

With corporate leadership and federal regulations raising the sustainability bar, some companies are taking greater control of their logistics to meet environmental targets. The king of e-commerce provides a prime example:

"Amazon's becoming their own fleet, not hiring people to move their goods," said Mike Roeth of the North American Council for Fuel Efficiency.

Amazon admits "no single solution" exists yet for decarbonizing middle-mile trucking. But the online juggernaut is exploring multiple alternatives like electric semis, renewable natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cells.

The Uphill Battle

Even as companies charge ahead, experts caution that electrifying long-haul fleets isn't cheap or easy with today's technology. Roeth says shippers often underestimate the costs of going zero-emission.

For now, the focus is on shorter routes that electric trucks can handle on a single charge. Maximizing fuel efficiency through navigation apps, driver coaching, aerodynamics, and biodiesel blends provides another path.

"The easiest way to be sustainable is obviously to burn less fuel," said Royal Jones of Mesilla Valley Transportation. "You can talk all you want about electric, but over-the-road [electric trucks] are still a long way off."

The Road Ahead

While the road to sustainable trucking is long and winding, one thing is clear - the industry's biggest players are charging full speed ahead. Shippers, carriers and technology companies are collaborating on creative solutions, driven by environmental urgency and economic incentives.

As Daryl Bear of MVT Solutions stated, "It's huge financially, it's huge environmentally...shippers are working toward carbon-neutral goals, and carriers need to be at the forefront or risk losing business."

Sources: The Cool Down | Transport Topics

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