Thermo King, a brand of Trane Technologies, completed initial testing of its innovative evolve electric trailer with retailers Walmart and Loblaws, and Martin Brower, a supply chain solutions provider for restaurants around the world. During more than 2,500 hours of operation, the battery-powered refrigerated trailer unit delivered excellent performance, ensuring high quality climate control to keep food and other goods fresh. With zero direct emissions, Thermo King’s electric trailer technology can help to significantly decarbonize the cold chain.
“By partnering with our customers, we can help accelerate the industry’s transformation to electrification by applying valuable insights from data collected during these trials,” said Karin De Bondt, president of Thermo King Americas. “With more than 2,500 hours of operation, the learnings bring us closer to a commercialized all-electric trailer unit, help our customers prepare their operations, and ultimately, together we can advance the industry forward.”
Earlier this year, Thermo King increased its efforts to decarbonize their trailer refrigeration units (TRUs) by switching from the refrigerant R-404A to R-452A, reducing the company's carbon footprint by roughly 650,000 metric tons of CO2e annually, Thermo King said. Later on, the company also announced that evolve e200 and e1000 TRU models had been approved for point-of-sale vouchers by the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB), further incentivizing their usage.
“With thousands of refrigerated trailers using diesel fuel today, we have the ability to make a meaningful difference when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Fernando Cortes, senior vice president of transportation, Walmart U.S. “We were pleased to work with Thermo King on the testing of our first-ever refrigerated trailer operated primarily on battery electricity in the U.S. as we look for solutions to achieve zero emissions by 2040.”
The e200 TRU was first released in 2021 with the options of two lithium-ion batteries—1.8 kWh and 3.6 kWh—for functionality, and in 2019, the company released its first all-electric last-mile refrigerated delivery van.
“Our goal is to deliver innovative and meaningful solutions that help restaurants and our business create a more globally sustainable, ethical, and responsible future,” said Danny Fahey, Martin Brower’s vice president of U.S. strategy and sustainability. “Piloting the Thermo King electric trailer allows us to support new technologies, which is an essential step toward achieving our ambitious, long-term goal—significantly reducing our carbon emissions per ton and limiting our environmental impact.”
Leveraging Thermo King TracKing telematics, customer operations data and learnings have been documented with each evolve trailer demonstration, directly contributing to future product optimization and innovation.
In addition to its current portfolio of products, Thermo King has committed to delivering all-electric, zero-emission solutions for every segment of the end-to-end cold chain by 2023 in Europe and 2025 in the Americas. Through its evolve all-electric portfolio, the business will help advance Trane Technologies’ 2030 Sustainability Commitments, including its Gigaton Challenge to reduce customer greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons.