Grand Rapids, Mich. — Meijer, a retailer that operates one of the largest fleets in Michigan with 250 semitrucks and the first in North America to implement the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 near-zero emissions standards in 2009, is once again leading the retail industry by deploying two of the first all-electric semitrucks outside of California.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is also the first nationwide to track the performance of the Freightliner eCascadia semitrucks in a cold weather environment as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Our company’s earliest beginnings were marked by doing what’s right while keeping an eye toward innovation. That philosophy still guides us today and is exemplified by our company’s commitment to lessening our carbon footprint,” says Rick Keyes, president and CEO, Meijer. “We’re excited to continue our longstanding partnership with Freightliner to pave a sustainable future for the industry.”
Meijer received the battery electric semitrucks earlier this month and celebrated their inaugural delivery today with a more than 44,000-pound food donation to Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and representatives from Meijer and Daimler Truck North America.
The two semis will operate out of the retailer’s Lansing Distribution Center, which is now equipped with specific charging infrastructure. They will make multiple deliveries daily to Meijer supercenters within a 200-mile trip range of the distribution center.
Meijer became a test fleet for Freightliner in 2009 and was selected in 2019 to test the manufacturer’s battery electric semitrucks. After a successful conclusion of testing and integration of customer feedback in the design and development process, Freightliner is now rolling out the series produced battery electric truck to customers, including Meijer that received the first delivery. The retailer’s trucks were partially funded by a grant to DTNA from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office geared toward the demonstration of battery electric commercial trucks under diverse climate conditions. Meijer will continue reviewing data daily for temperature impact on mileage, charge times, battery life optimization and driver comfort.
“Through this partnership, we can help accelerate the industry’s transformation to electrification by applying valuable insights from data collected and real-world applications in a cold climate environment and make a meaningful difference when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mike Graham, senior vice president of supply chain and manufacturing for Meijer. “We’re pleased to work with Freightliner to further put the eCascadia tractors into real-world applications outside of Southern California as we look for solutions to achieve zero emissions.”
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 499 supercenters, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.meijer.com.