Albertsons Companies, the second-largest grocery chain in the US, recently took delivery of two Volvo trucks at its distribution centre in Irvine, California. The VNR Electric Volvos are the first zero tailpipe emission, battery-electric Class 8 trucks (above 15t) to be deployed in Albertsons’ fleet. They will serve stores in Southern California.

The trucks are fitted with refrigeration units from Advanced Energy Machines (AEM) enabling Albertsons to make the first commercial 100% zero-emission refrigerated grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck in the US.

Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America said, “We are thrilled to continue our long-term partnership with Albertsons as they begin their journey toward fleet electrification and achieve this momentous accomplishment of a fully zero-emission grocery delivery.”

Albertsons operates 1,400 Class 8 trucks nationwide, all of which are certified under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program as meeting high transportation sustainability and efficiency standards. The Southern California fleet, which is made up entirely of trucks manufactured by Volvo Trucks, covers 335 stores in the region, running from the Central Coast to the California-Mexico border.

Albertsons acquired the trucks through Volvo Financial Services (VFS) as part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, a collaboration between Volvo Trucks North America, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), and 12 other organizations to develop a robust support ecosystem to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the North American transport industry at scale.

“By taking this major step, Albertsons has demonstrated the viability of a sustainable, zero-emission goods delivery future,” said Lisa A Bartlett, Orange County Supervisor and South Coast AQMD governing board member. “South Coast AQMD commends Albertsons and the Volvo LIGHTS project for helping us reach this milestone, paving the way for future fleets to improve air quality throughout the South Coast Air Basin.”

The Volvo LIGHTS project was made possible by an award from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as part of California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.