Row of Loblaw's fleet of Freightliner Cascadia electric trucks
Canadian grocer Loblaw has expanded its fleet of zero-emission vehicles with the deployment of 10 new battery-electric Class 8 trucks in Vancouver. Photo: Wayne Smith LinkedIn

Loblaw has more than doubled its zero-emission fleet, adding 10 Freightliner eCascadia trucks in Vancouver, and has 25 Tesla Semis on order

Canadian grocer Loblaw expands its fleet of zero-emission vehicles by deploying 10 new battery-electric Class 8 trucks in Vancouver.

The Freightliner eCascadia electric trucks were delivered to Loblaw by Velocity Truck Centres, an Edmonton-based dealership and service facility in December. (Freightliner is a division of Daimler Truck North America.)

“I am thrilled to announce a significant milestone for Loblaws,” wrote Wayne Scott, senior director of maintenance at Loblaw Companies Ltd., in a LinkedIn post. “This achievement aligns perfectly with our commitment to environmental sustainability and represents a substantial step forward in our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.”

In 2022, Loblaw announced its goal to transition to a fully zero-emission transport fleet by 2030. This initiative aligns with the company’s overarching objective of achieving net-zero carbon emissions across the organization by 2040.

The 10 eCascadias in Vancouver bring the size of its current electric fleet to 14.

Vancouver an “ideal location”

Loblaw’s decision to deploy electric trucks in Vancouver was a strategic choice driven by various factors, including the city’s “forward-thinking commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness,” writes Scott in an email to Electric Autonomy.

“Vancouver stood out as the ideal location….[The city] has consistently prioritized green initiatives, making it a front-runner in adopting eco-friendly technologies.”

Scott adds Loblaw sees the city’s mild climate as a benefit that “further enhances the efficiency of battery electric trucks.”

Loblaw plans to have the electric trucks in Vancouver operating up to two shifts per day. One shift will transport goods to and from the ports. The second shift will focus on deliveries to stores, explains Scott.

Loblaw installed five 180 kW ABB chargers at its Pitt Meadows Distribution Centre, roughly 10 kilometres outside Coquitlam.

Growing its zero-emission fleet

Loblaw has been testing zero-emission trucks for years. But their gradual integration into its fleet began last April when the company put its first Freightliner eCascadia trucks on the road in the Greater Montreal Area.

Four electric trucks are making short-haul deliveries from a Loblaw distribution centre in Boucherville to 200 local Loblaw stores including Provigo, Provigo Le Marché and Maxi. They travel up to 370 kilometres per charge while hauling up to 32,000 kilograms.

“These vehicles have been working out very well, with very little issues,” says Scott. “Daimler Truck North America has been a great partner in helping out with our move to EVs.”

Then, in June, Loblaw purchased five Class 8 T680 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) from Kenworth Trucks.

Loblaw says the FCEVs, slated for delivery in 2024, address the range limitations of battery-electric trucks. The Kenworth hydrogen-powered trucks, with a range of over 700 kilometres, will deploy for long-haul deliveries.

Tesla Semis on order

The next increase in the size of Loblaw’s zero-emission truck fleet could be even bigger. According to Scott, the company also has 25 Tesla Semis on order.

“As far as expansion is concerned, we are currently looking at the charging infrastructure that we need to install in order to expand our truck fleet,” says Scott.

“Excited that there will be more to come in 2024.”