A pilot program uses BYD electric trucks to complete first- and last-mile deliveries to and from Embark transfer points in the Los Angeles area. - Photo: BYD

A pilot program uses BYD electric trucks to complete first- and last-mile deliveries to and from Embark transfer points in the Los Angeles area.

Photo: BYD

Technology provider HP and autonomous-technology company Embark Trucks are teaming up to combine electric and autonomous trucks to create a more sustainable distribution network. The two companies will use BYD electric drayage trucks to move goods to and from Embark’s highway-adjacent transfer points, where loads will be shifted to trucks equipped with the Embark Driver software.

Embark estimates the move to more efficient autonomous trucks and and zero-emissions drayage trucks will remove up to 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from HP's distribution network over the next decade.

Warehouses in the Inland Empire were subject to new air quality regulations as of May 2021. Leveraging sustainable freight technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles is a key way to reduce emissions and ensure compliance with these rules, HP says.

“HP’s goal is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 2040,” said Jessica Kipp, global head of WW Logistics, HP, in a news release. “We’re driving innovative solutions with the support of partners like Embark and BYD to reduce the environmental impact of traditional trucks within our supply chain while increasing speed and efficiency for customers.”

This EV drayage pilot allows HP to leverage clean-running BYD 8TT electric trucks (which currently have limited range not suited for long-haul trucking) within its supply chain, while lowering carbon on the longer middle legs of the trip with the efficiency gains of Embark-equipped autonomous trucks, including better fuel economy and less idling.

HP joined Embark’s Partner Development Program in May 2021, with the intent of piloting a program for autonomous trucks as an element in achieving its broader carbon footprint and sustainability goals. Since announcing the partnership, Embark and HP have delivered regular weekly hauls of hardware between HP’s Los Angeles and Phoenix distribution facilities.

“We’re combining the best of both worlds with this partnership, pairing the middle-mile strengths of autonomous trucks with the sustainability benefits of electric trucks in urban road settings,” said Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark. “Autonomous and electric trucks represent a powerful tool for companies like HP to help the trucking industry reduce harmful diesel emissions while continuing to deliver goods to the businesses and consumers who need them.”

Embark’s transfer point model, with its short first-mile and last-mile legs in urban environments, leverages BYD’s electric trucks, by eliminating smog, diesel-emitted NOX, and CO2 emissions.

“BYD is excited to be part of this creative solution to decrease emissions from freight movement that pollute the air and harm vulnerable communities,” said Vincent Pellecchia, strategic account manager of BYD Motors. "By working with Embark, we’re giving storied companies like HP the tools they need to create sustainable supply chains end-to-end.”

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