Thermo King
Meijer Thermo King Demonstrator

Meijer tests zero-emissions refrigerated trailer

May 22, 2023
Three-month evolve trial, featuring a Thermo King electric transport refrigeration unit, achieves ‘major’ milestones, and generates critical fleet data during Michigan’s harsh winter.

Thermo King recently finished field testing its evolve electric trailer with Meijer, a family-operated retailer with one of the largest fleets in Michigan.

The company piloted the electric reefer trailer during Michigan’s harsh winter, helping Thermo King understand how climate impacts the system, Thermo King said. During the test, the evolve technology was used for single-temperature grocery transport, and data was tracked using Thermo King’s TracKing telematics, helping the manufacturer capture critical information that will assist in developing future electric operations.

“Meijer is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and we’re pleased to work with Thermo King, which is leading the industry to further technology and sustainability efforts,” Dave Granning, Meijer fleet maintenance manager, said in a news release. “This was a great opportunity and partnership to use real world conditions to help facilitate the advancement of technology and the goal to improve the overall supply chain emissions.”

Thermo King has been testing its zero-direct emissions electric trailer technology since 2021. Each customer trial provides new learnings about what will be needed to ensure customers’ needs are met as they go all-electric. These findings, which include data such as estimated CO2 emissions avoided in both trip and base operations, trip-based energy utilization, and how delivery procedures impact overall energy demands, provide the necessary insights to help to bring a commercialized, all-electric trailer to the market, Thermo King said.

To date, the company’s single-temp electric reefer has logged nearly 4,000 hours in customer trails with more to come this year, including a multi-temp demonstrator.

“Meijer is dedicated to leading the industry’s adoption of electrification and Thermo King is proud to partner with them on this technology,” said Sam Doerr, trailer portfolio leader for Thermo King Americas. “Meijer’s leadership demonstrates that sustainable practices are possible, and their approach is being sought proactively by other companies looking to decrease their carbon footprint.”