US Retailer Moves to Cleaner Energy LNG Fleet
Fred Meyer Stores, a major west-US retailer and division of The Kroger Co., has taken delivery of the first 11 of 40 heavy-duty Freightliner trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will be received over the next several months, making Fred Meyer the first in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty LNG trucks.
The new LNG trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use, and will deliver product to Fred Meyer stores as far south as Corvallis, Oregon and as far north as Longview, Washington. Some of the 40 diesel trucks will be used to replace older, less efficient diesel trucks in the fleet.
“Fred Meyer is pleased to be the first in Kroger’s process of transitioning its fleet to alternative fuels,” said Lynn Gust, president of Fred Meyer Stores. “Converting to LNG trucks allows us to reinvest savings into lower prices while also providing a great benefit to the environment.”
The trucks will average approximately 175 miles per day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. They are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 755 metric tons per year, which equates to removing approximately 159 passenger cars from the road annually. The trucks are manufactured at Freightliner’s North Carolina plant.
The fleet will be fueled at a new, private LNG fueling station at Fred Meyer’s Clackamas Distribution Center, which has been designed and engineered by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Clean Energy, a sponsor member of NGV Global, will also supply the liquefied natural gas for the fueling station, and once all 40 trucks are active, Clean Energy will supply the approximately one million gallons a year needed to service them.
The use of LNG not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 23 percent in medium- to heavy-duty vehicles. It is also a safer fuel than diesel – it is the same natural gas used in homes, but is cooled to negative 260 degrees and is not under pressure.
“LNG is a viable alternative fuel for Kroger in the future,” said Ashley White, logistics sustainability manager for The Kroger Co. “It will serve as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable fuels and technologies. We are committed to this very important work.”
Kroger has invested $6.5 million in the project and has received a $490,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration via ODOT for the LNG infrastructure. Kroger has applied for $360,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to retire nine diesel trucks and completely replace them with LNG trucks.