Purolator Plans Largest Investment to Electrify Network
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Purolator Inc. will make its largest investment at $1 billion to electrify its Canadian network over the next seven years, the company announced March 9.
The Mississauga, Ontario-based courier plans to purchase more than 3,500 fully electric last-mile delivery vehicles and electrify more than 60 terminals. The company hopes the investments will help it reach its emissions goals by 2030.
“Our ambition is to be the greenest courier company in Canada, and with this investment, Purolator will take yet another important step toward a more sustainable future,” CEO John Ferguson said. “We’ve set ambitious goals for ourselves, and are working with our customers and partners every day to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our environment.”
Purolator is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 42% by 2030. It plans to achieve that by electrifying 60% of its last-mile delivery vehicles and by investing in alternative fuels and low-carbon technologies. It also plans to completely reduce emissions from electricity through the use of renewable sources and by diverting most of its waste from landfills.
We're planning to invest $1B to electrify our Canadian network by 2030! This includes plans to deploy 3,500 #ElectricVehicles, starting with @FordCanada @Ford E-Transit™, @Motivps EPIC4 and @brightdrop Zevo 600 models hitting the road this year! https://t.co/84JvvNYaiy pic.twitter.com/jVhucgPHXm — Purolator (@PurolatorInc) March 9, 2023
“Purolator has always been an organization focused on innovation and continuous improvement,” said Cindy Bailey, director and corporate sustainability officer. “But more recently, in the last couple of years, I think the organization as a whole has really come to recognize the importance of environmental sustainability and the fact that this really needs to be a core strategic pillar and value for the organization.”
Ultimately, the company hopes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It began that journey when it introduced more than 500 hybrid-electric vehicles into its fleet in 2005. But that effort ramped up in the past few years with the company piloting all-electric vehicles and publicly releasing its sustainability plan for 2030.
“We really had to take a hard look at what are the other initiatives and goals we need to put in place,” Bailey said. “And a big one, of course, was electrifying our last-mile delivery vehicles. And that’s why we put in a secondary goal to electrify 60% of those vehicles by 2030. So I would say this has really come out of making that broader commitment as an organization to be the greenest courier.”
Purolator anticipates benefits beyond being environmentally responsible. The electric vehicles are expected to result in fuel and maintenance savings and also be safer and more ergonomic for drivers.
“We expect somewhere in the neighborhood of about 30% to 50% of fuel savings depending on the number of routes and how far we actually travel with the vehicles,” said Chris Henry, national fleet director. “There’s also a significant savings on maintenance.”
Henry expects maintenance savings in the range of 20% to 30%, noted that there aren’t as many parts in an electric truck. He also anticipates there will be less maintenance work given there won’t be a need for tasks such as changing the oil.
“When you drive an electric vehicle, it’s much quieter,” Henry said. “We expect a measure of safety for our staff, but also the ergonomics of the vehicle as well. They’re just generally going to be newer vehicles. We’re going to improve the seating, the sight lines are going to improve.”
Purolator will be putting $100 million toward this plan this year. The company expects to add more than 100 all-electric vehicles to its fleet and an additional 150 in 2024. This new fleet includes Ford E-Transit, Motiv Power Systems EPIC4 and BrightDrop Zevo 600 models.
Steve Slesinski of Dana and Trent Broberg of Acertus pop the EV hood and reveal new, easier ways to repair, prepare and invest in electric trucks. Hear the program above and at RoadSigns.TTNews.com.
“We’re really happy to see Canadian companies like Purolator taking action to really electrify their fleet, including these last-mile delivery vans,” said Ekta Bibra, senior policy adviser of clean transportation at Clean Energy Canada. “These are vans that Canadians see every day, vans that deliver their packages throughout the city. So it brings home the point that these technologies to electrify last-mile and urban deliveries are here today.”
Bibra added that it is not just the emission benefits that come from decarbonizing the transportation sector. She noted there also is an economic opportunity with benefits across the country and across various different industries.
“Purolator’s short-term plan is conservative and in line with the growing pains that fleet owners face when it comes to making the EV transition,” said Mayank Sharma, head of global product management at fleet tracking software company Teletrac Navman. “While we expect that the transition will accelerate as the number of EVs available for sale increases in line with charging infrastructure, total fleet conversion will take some time. In parallel, fleet owners should look to make their existing fleets more fuel-efficient.”
Purolator ranks No. 18 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
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