Electric cars contribute to reducing our carbon footprint by producing zero local emissions – meaning that there’s nothing bad spewing out of a tailpipe. But many steps of their production and distribution still produce greenhouse gases; EVs are complicated and intensive to build and they need to be shipped and trucked around, typically on vehicles using diesel power. Now, Nissan, in a small way, has started to address this issue by delivering some of its zero-emissions vehicles using…zero-emissions vehicles. It’s a small step, but an indication that manufacturers are thinking about decarbonizing the entire value chain.
In a pilot project in the Los Angeles region, Nissan is now using battery-electric, heavy-duty Class 8 transport trucks to haul new vehicles from the Port of Los Angeles to dealerships in the area. The trucks, made by Nikola and Kenworth, are among the first battery-electric heavy-duty trucks on the market, and will pull conventional car haulers that would normally be tugged around by heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Heavy-Duty Trucks Charge Overnight
Nissan collaborated with its logistics partner, Wallenius Wilhelmsen to install chargers at the Port of Los Angeles. Because the trucks’ routes within the Los Angeles area are predictable, they can complete many deliveries before returning to home base, where they are charged overnight. Avant-Garde Auto Logistics LLC, a woman-owned transportation company headquartered in Smyrna, Tennessee, is Nissan’s partner in the program.
"Exploring the use of BEV trucks for new vehicle delivery is an important milestone in our journey toward carbon neutrality throughout our business," said Chris Styles, vice president of supply chain management at Nissan North America. "By being an early adopter of this technology, we're showcasing our innovative spirit and positioning ourselves to meet our long-term goals for zero-tailpipe-emission transportation."
Nissan is one of the first automakers to use all-electric heavy-duty trucks to transport new vehicles to dealerships. The project is part of the company’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality across all of its operations by 2050. That plan not only includes 40 percent of the company’s U.S. sales being electric vehicles by 2030; it also includes spreading electrification throughout its lineup – as well as identifying opportunities across all its operations to reduce emissions.
Delivering Zero-Emissions Ariyas
The first dealership deliveries with the electric eighteen-wheelers were to a Nissan dealership in California, where a load of all-new 2023 Ariya electric crossovers were delivered. One of our favorite new electric cars, the Airya is an appealing crossover available in a wide variety of trim levels, drivetrain options, and prices. It offers more-than-competitive range, a gorgeous interior, and good value for money. The first Ariya models with front-wheel drive are being delivered now, with all-wheel drive e-4ORCE models following this spring.
Will Nissan roll out more zero-emissions delivery vehicles? The company says this proof-of-concept project will help the company and its logistics partners understand more about how EV trucks can be used for vehicle deliveries. Following this project, which uses four BEV heavy-duty trucks, Nissan plans to deploy even more BEV haulers in the Los Angeles area. Building on lessons learned from these projects, it could eventually begin using electric trucks for a variety of logistics uses beyond vehicle deliveries.