California-based fresh fruit and vegetable distributor OK Produce recently completed the first phase of its fleet electrification journey with help from BP Pulse, which provided the electric vehicle (EV) charging solution for the company’s 10 Freightliner EV trucks and three Orange EV yard tractors.
OK Produce is using three Heliox DC fast chargers, which allow for the service of up to 10 EVs. The chargers operate with Omega, BP Pulse’s charge management software, which is designed to optimize charging times for the lowest cost of energy and streamlined charging operations, the companies reported.
“To ensure optimal fleet performance, our Omega charge management software is being used to plan, measure, and increase operational efficiency; and will help OK Produce easily introduce additional vehicles and chargers into their operations as the project expands,” Vic Shao, president of BP Pulse fleet, said in a news release.
In an effort to reduce the operation’s carbon footprint, OK Produce CEO Brady Matoian decided last year to partner with BP Pulse for electrification site design, construction, utility engagement, and overall stakeholder management. To bring the project to life, SEAM was selected as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, and BP Pulse worked with utility PG&E to provide a new line of electric service.
“Since 2001 when the company launched its sustainability program, OK Produce has made a comprehensive commitment to the environment including the installation of 4.5 megawatts of solar power featuring over 12,000 PV panels,” Matoian said. “As we looked to electrify our fleet, we knew we needed a partner that would help us truly maximize the results of our efforts and simplify the process. Staying hands on in the decision-making process was important, and being able to trust BP Pulse with more of the heavy lifting and technical pieces ensured this project moved forward promptly and efficiently.”
BP Pulse anticipates breaking ground on Phase 2 of the project in early 2024, further reducing the carbon intensity of OK Produce’s fleet operations by introducing solar as a green electricity source. Phase 2 will rely on key partnerships—including Pacific Solar to install the solar panels and ABB to deliver 14 additional DC Fast Chargers—to supply power to an additional 27 electric vehicles, bringing OK Produce’s total electric fleet to 36.
“Our goal at OK Produce is to deliver healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables in the healthiest way possible from field to store,” Matoian concluded. “We rely on mother nature to provide all the products we handle for our customers so it’s very important to us to do business in a way that has a lower impact on the planet Earth.
“Although we have made great progress along the way toward this goal, our fleet remains our greatest opportunity for improvement in regard to environmental impact.”