Transporting food to your local supermarket typically requires refrigerated trailers (also known as reefers). These are usually cooled by diesel fuel, with an idling diesel tractor burning about a gallon of fuel per hour and releasing about 22.4 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result.
According to TreeHugger, about 50,000 diesel-powered reefers are sold every year in the US, meaning that electrifying these vehicles provides a valuable opportunity to decarbonize the transportation industry.
That’s exactly what green transportation company XL fleet is aiming to achieve, with the firm recently partnering with eNow which makes solar and battery systems for electric Transport Refrigeration Units (eTRUs).
As part of the new partnership, XL Fleet and eNow will develop a fleet of electric-powered running on high-capacity integrated lithium-ion batteries that can keep a reefer cool for more than 12 hours between charges. On top of that, literally, the new trailers will include solar panels on their roofs to maintain the battery charge and prolong operation.
According to the press release, “Each conventional diesel power refrigerated trailer can use as much diesel as a delivery truck uses in a day, so there are large opportunities for diesel and emissions savings with electrified refrigerated trailers.”
There are currently more than half a million reefers in operation in the US, so switching them to electric would mean a dramatic reduction in emissions. In fact, electrifying just the refrigeration part of these trailers has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 15 percent.
Image source: XL Fleet