Nature Fresh Farms Partners With University of Windsor to Advance Clean Transportation; Peter Quiring and Rupp Carriveau Comment
LEAMINGTON, ON - Our industry is once again harnessing innovation to foster growth and strategic new advancements across the supply chain. As fresh produce suppliers as a whole look to navigate a changing landscape, Nature Fresh Farms has teamed up with the University of Windsor in a new project to help achieve necessary advancements in energy-efficient shipping.
“As an innovative company, we are always thinking ‘what is next?’, whether its developments in product varieties, technology, or sustainability. Green transportation is the next big focus,” said Nature Fresh Farms Chief Executive Officer, Peter Quiring. “We were given the opportunity to work closely on this project and offer our operations as a case study to see how we can find feasible alternatives, not only for Nature Fresh Farms or even for companies in agriculture, but for every industry that relies on the transportation of their goods.”
The $160,000 project is meant to determine the impact of long-haul electric vehicles (LHEV) on Ontario’s electric grid, according to a press release, and create an archetypal routing networking by determining the most frequently used travel routes and overlaying the electric grid, which will help determine how it will perform when managing a fleet of electric trucks. These battery-operated trucks will look and perform similarly to diesel trucks with zero emissions.
By drawing power from the electric grid, these transport trucks would be able to sustainably deliver goods while allowing for the transferring of electrons back to the grid at strategic times and locations. The ambitious project is spearheaded by Dr. Rupp Carriveau of the Environmental Energy Institute, and his associate Dr. Hanna Maoh of the Cross Border Institute, with the help of several graduate students. To assist in the different facets of the project, the team is developing various industry-related partnerships such as the one with Nature Fresh Farms.
“We needed a partner to help pilot our project and potentially test, and Nature Fresh Farms came to mind. They are a very progressive company and are calculated risk-takers that push boundaries with new technologies,” said Carriveau.
Nature Fresh Farms will provide information from its operations—including shipping schedules, power use, and utility costs—to help the research team to determine the strengths and weaknesses of converting its fleet to electric vehicles, further exploring the opportunities of electric trucks in the greenhouse industry.
As the first step of the project works toward establishing an electrical grid that will successfully manage a fleet of electric vehicles, phase two includes the potential pilot study of developing and using electric long-haul vehicles for that grid.
As more alliances are formed within the produce industry to spearhead advancements like this one, AndNowUKnow will be here to report.