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More electric tractors in DCs

Another US company has accessed grant funding to purchase battery operated tractors from Orange EV.

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The orange EV T-Series for Firefly Transportation Services
The orange EV T-Series for Firefly Transportation Services

Kansas-based Orange EV continues to grow its business retrofitting Kalmar diesel terminal tractors with its own electric drive system. Its latest announcement is the deployment of three Orange EV T-Series machines with Firefly Transportation Services, which provides services for the Kraft Heinz Company at its distribution centre in Groveport, Ohio.


“As part of our commitment to Growing a Better World and improving our operational sustainability, we’ve partnered with Firefly Transportation Services to replace several of the diesel trucks in our Groveport, Ohio operation with electric ones,” said Erin Mitchell, Head of North American Warehouse and Logistics for The Kraft Heinz Company. “Orange EV’s battery-electric terminal trucks deliver 100 percent emission-free transportation services – a key driver of our progress toward a more sustainable and resilient supply chain.”


The three Orange EV machines will replace five diesel units, one of which will remain onsite. The diesel tractor is not expected to be used in normal operations, Orange EV said, but is being kept “for fuel diversity alone.”


Companies in the US continue to access grant funding for electric tractors, in this case the machines are being partly funded by the American Lung Association through a grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Program, secured and administered by the Clean Air Team at the American Lung Association (ALA)’s Springfield, Illinois office.


“Firefly Transportation Services is committed to delivering zero-emission yard management services to our customers while also dramatically increasing site productivity and cost savings”, said Mike Bohnstengel, one of the Firefly principal partners. “Utilizing data from our EV telematics systems, we provide advanced analytics and implement operational improvements that would not be achieved via traditional diesel units.”


Mike Saxton, Orange EV’s Chief Commercial Officer, added, “This decision by Kraft Heinz demonstrates thoughtful mitigation of the extremely high operational, economic, and environmental costs of using diesel trucks. With this deployment, Kraft Heinz becomes the first site in Ohio to fully commit to pure electric in their heavy duty, Class 8 terminal truck fleet.”

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