Loblaw Continues Growing Zero-Emission Truck Fleet

Canadian grocer purchasing 5 fuel cell electric vehicles from Kenworth
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Loblaw's new hydrogen fuel cell trucks will allow for long-haul zero-emission deliveries.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is ramping up its efforts to reimagine zero-emission long-haul deliveries with the addition of five hydrogen fuel cell trucks to its fleet. The Canadian grocer has an overarching goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions enterprise-wide by 2040.

The Class 8 T680 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are manufactured by Kenworth, have a range of over 700 kilometers and feature some of the latest in carbon-free technology. They will provide Loblaw with greater flexibility to complete regional, long-haul zero-emission deliveries.

[Read more: "Food Retailers Are Leading the Charge for Electric Vehicles"]

“We’re a large company, operating an extensive supply chain network to stock stores in thousands of Canadian communities. That means our trucks are on the road in every province and territory, which creates a large footprint,” said Rob Wiebe, chief administrative officer for Loblaw. “We see the opportunity to fight climate change and know we have a responsibility to find new ways to cut our carbon emissions. As technologies advance, we will advance too.”

According to Loblaw, it was the first Canadian organization to sign a letter of intent to purchase these hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, as part of its plan to adopt new technology to help meet its environmental goals.

The company put its first two electric commercial Class 8 day-cab vehicles on the road earlier this year, which make short-haul deliveries from its Boucherville, Quebec, distribution center to stores within the Greater Montreal area. The retailer’s goal is to electrify its fleet of short-haul day-cab trucks by 2030.

Additionally, Loblaw partnered with autonomous middle-mile logistics provider Gatik late last year to launch fully driverless commercial operations. Gatik’s fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks is now moving select online grocery orders for Loblaw’s PC Express service.

Earlier this month, Loblaw entered into a deal with TC Energy to power its supermarkets, drugstores, offices and distribution centers in Alberta with renewable energy sources. The program promises to eliminate the carbon emissions associated with the facilities while cutting the company's nationwide enterprise operating emissions by 17%.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned stores across Canada – including more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty – with 190,000-plus full- and part-time employees, making it one of the country’s largest private-sector employers. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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