It is now feasible for heavy-duty commercial trucks to green up – not only tractors, but also trailers. BC’s enviroTruck initiative supported two fleets as they introduced hybrid-electric refrigeration units:
- R&B Trucking of Victoria: This company’s Class 7 2009 Freightliner M2e® 106 hybrid truck (33,000 GVW) was the first of its kind in North America. Among its many features was a fuel-efficient diesel electric hybrid engine the size of one in a pickup truck. It also features an electric refrigeration unit powered by the hybrid system eliminating the need for a second diesel engine. The truck converts energy lost during braking into electricity, which is re-routed back to power the refrigeration unit. This Freightliner truck has a 2007 engine, which significantly reduces NOx and carbon emissions.
- Paradise Island Foods of Nanaimo: This food delivery company converted six trailers to hybrid refrigeration units that run on electricity when plugged in and a diesel generator when on the road. Jason Kozubal, Paradise Operations Manager had this to say: “The hybrid reefer is an amazing machine. It is quiet, more efficient while running on diesel, hums along when running on electricity and pulls temps down very quickly. It also uses fewer parts and only half of the refrigerant of conventional reefers. The numbers have proved the benefits of this new reefer technology to us very clearly.”
- You can read more about R&B Trucking and Paradise Island Foods in Fleet Experiences.
Paradise Island Foods tracked data between March 2008 and February 2009 to evaluate its hybrid refrigeration units and onboard computer systems for a Transport Canada case study. The case study is summarized on the Transport Canada website. Here are highlights:
- Paradise Island found the two technologies tested were reliable and cost-effective for reducing fuel consumption and GHG emissions.
- The hybrid refrigeration units reduced diesel fuel consumption by 61% and provided other operational advantages (for examples, better temperature regulation, faster defrosting, and quieter overnight operation). Hybrid trailer refrigeration units seem to be best-suited for regional carriers that can use electrical power while trailers are located at the home base.
- The onboard computer systems helped drivers and managers reduce tractor fuel consumption and associated GHG emissions by 13% and provided a number of operational advantages (for example, better driver hour tracking, direct communication via text messaging, location tracking, and reduction of out-of-route kilometres).