Uber Freight has partnered with WattEV and CHEP on a joint deployment of electric trucks on routes in Southern California, the companies announced last week.

The pilot program is the freight forwarder’s inaugural EV truck deployment, according to the company. Under the agreement, WattEV will provide its trucks to Uber Freight shippers, beginning with CHEP, the first shipper to participate.

“Electric trucks will have a profound impact on logistics, and we’re excited to build the technology platform to enable their seamless integration into supply chains,” Uber Freight Head of Sustainability Illina Frankiv said in a statement.

Beyond determining the feasibility of sustainable alternatives to complement traditional diesel-fueled truck capacity, the participants hope the pilot provides insight into the logistical complexities associated with EV freight transportation.

The trucks will be fueled by WattEV’s charging infrastructure, according to the announcement.

Marisa Sánchez Urrea, director of global supply chain decarbonisation at CHEP’s parent company, Brambles, noted that heavy-duty trucking is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching its goal of achieving net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2040.

“We are proud to partner with our carriers and our customers as we together scale up electrification opportunities and deliver on our shared decarbonization goals,” Urrea said in a statement.

The pilot is a step in WattEV’s plans to eventually create a nationwide network of charging stations for EV truck fleets, according to the company.

“We are proud to be a zero emission transport solution of choice for Uber Freight and their customers,” Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of WattEV, said in a statement. “Combining our transport business and our Truck-as-a-Service model, we are able to use Uber Freight’s digital platform to serve the shippers and their customers with our zero-emission truck routes and services.”

Further adoption of EVs by trucking carriers and their customers is expected to continue this year as one of the main technology trends in the freight transportation industry.

*Colin Campbell, Transport Drive*

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