GE Appliances (GEA) is deploying six electric trucks at three locations as part of the first phase of an electric vehicle trial with Einride. GEA will use the trucks in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee with plans to add six more EV trucks later this year.
The companies first announced a partnership in October 2021 that included both EVs and trials of Einride’s autonomous Pod cargo transport system.
“We’ve adopted many environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations,” said Harry Chase, senior director for central materials at GE Appliances, a Haier company. “As we invest and expand our U.S. manufacturing to better serve our customers, we will deploy Einride’s EV technology on routes we frequently use to move materials. That’s where use of these vehicles can have a big impact on reducing emissions and costs.”
The EVs are BYD-branded trucks that utilize the Einride Saga data-driven operating system. Maersk (OCTUS: AMKBY) recently announced it would deploy 300 of the E-truck models in its North American warehousing, distribution and transportation business beginning in 2023.
For GEA, the EVs will drive routes between facilities operated by the Port of Savannah and GEA’s inbound warehousing and logistics centers, manufacturing sites and finished-goods warehouses. With a range of about 200 miles, GEA anticipates each truck will travel an estimated 125,000 miles annually, reducing 210 tons of CO2 emissions in the first year alone.
“GE Appliances has been pivotal to our U.S. expansion with their commitment to building a more strategic, sustainable supply chain,” said Niklas Reinedahl, general manager of North America at Einride. “Deployment of this electric fleet together with their support of our autonomous EV solutions initiative will allow GEA to further reduce its environmental footprint. We’re excited to see the impact of our technology in action.”
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In Georgia, the trucks will travel between the Georgia Ports Authority’s Appalachian Regional Port, GEA’s nearby Southern Logistics Center in Crandall and Roper Corp., GEA’s cooking products manufacturing subsidiary in LaFayette.
Next month, EV trucks will begin running routes in Tennessee hauling finished Monogram refrigerators from the manufacturing facility to the warehouse to wait for shipping to customers. In Kentucky, the trucks will travel from the company’s Kentucky Logistics Center to GEA’s massive Appliance Park campus, carrying parts that make GE, GE Profile and Café refrigerators.
GEA recently concluded a pilot with the Einride Pod in Louisville, Kentucky. In that test, the Pod transported cargo around the 750-acre Appliance Park manufacturing campus on private roads. A GEA spokesperson said the company will begin a second Pod pilot later this year in Tennessee. That pilot recently received National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approval to be conducted on public roadways.
The driverless Einride Pod, a cabless box on wheels, features the same SAE Level 4 self-driving technology and safety architecture as its older European sibling but has been adapted for U.S. roads and regulations. In Tennessee, the Pod will be remotely monitored as it moves items from a GEA manufacturing plant to a warehouse.