IKEA and TransPower commemorate year of success using electric yard tractor

TransPower and IKEA recently celebrated a full year of testing and evaluation of a zero-emission electric years tractor featuring TransPower's electric propulsion technology.

IKEA and TransPower, an advanced clean energy technology company, announce they have completed a full year of testing and evaluation of an advanced, zero-emission electric yard tractor at the IKEA Distribution Center in Tejon, CA. The Kalmar tractor features an electric propulsion technology developed by TransPower for heavy-duty vehicles which helps to minimize CO2 emissions. This demonstration, initiated on September 24, 2014, was the first long-term trial of an electric yard truck at any IKEA facility worldwide, and one of the world’s most successful demonstrations of an electric vehicle of this weight class.

Read the article Trucks enter the electric age to learn more about TransPower's electric propulsion technology.

The TransPower tractor has accumulated more than 13,000 miles of operation since its deployment with IKEA, and its rate of use was increased over the past year, as it became IKEA’s preferred tractor due to its high reliability and low operating cost. “The TransPower electric tractor exceeded our expectations across the board. We routinely use this tractor for three shifts per day, and it has shown reliability at least equal to that of a typical diesel tractor,” comments Jim Cavezza, IKEA Deputy Distribution Operation Manager. As expected, the TransPower tractor eliminates CO2 emissions, and reduced IKEA employee exposure to noise and truck vibrations. The cost of energy for the electric tractor is less than 3 cents per mile, compared to more than 75 cents per mile for a diesel tractor. These cost savings were enabled in part because the Tejon facility has a 1.8 megawatt solar array on the roof, which provides 90% of the electrical energy used to charge the tractor’s 120 lithium-ion batteries.

Renewable charging of the tractor also enhanced CO2 reduction. At its current rate of utilization, the TransPower tractor eliminates approximately 50 tons of CO2 each year, according to Frank Falcone, TransPower’s Director of Powertrain Engineering and Manager of its electric yard tractor product line. Achieving this kind of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a key part of IKEA’s sustainability strategy. “Based on the tremendous success of this project, we have decided to purchase this tractor and enter it into our Tejon fleet permanently, and we are looking for opportunities that could help us acquire additional TransPower vehicles for all of our North America logistic units,” says Adolfo Kurczyn, Sustainability Manager at IKEA Distribution Services North America.Funding for manufacturing and demonstration of the IKEA electric tractor was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Representatives of these agencies, IKEA and TransPower attended an Open House at the Tejon Distribution Center on October 29 to commemorate the successful completion of the first year of operation of this new tractor. Several other tractor fleet operators that are interested in TransPower’s electric tractor technology also participated in this event. Since this tractor was delivered to IKEA, four additional tractors of this design have been converted by TransPower and placed into operation throughout California.