Sunswap
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U.K. grower to equip electric TRUs in 2024

Sept. 27, 2023
Sunswap secures the first fleet deployment of its solar- and battery-powered Endurance transport refrigeration units from Staples Vegetables after successful summer trial.

British cleantech firm Sunswap will supply produce grower Staples Vegetables with solar- and battery-powered Endurance transport refrigeration units (TRUs) next year in the first customer deployment of its zero-emission technology.

Staples will use its Sunswap TRU-equipped reefer trailers to transport brassica crops from its headquarters in Lincolnshire, England, as part of its ongoing sustainability and decarbonization plans, the companies reported.

“Myself and the Staples team are delighted to commit to upgrading our technology for the benefit of lowering our costs—and lowering cost to the environment,” Vernon Read, Staples managing director, said in a news release. “It has been a pleasure to work with Sunswap so far and we eagerly anticipate the installation date, when we get our very own electric TRUs complete with new solar panel-topped trailers.”

Sunswap and Staples ran a successful 12-day trial in July, utilizing Sunswap’s innovative TRU to fulfil Staples’ delivery cycles with the configuration of a standard-speed charger and a four-module battery, which is upgradable to six modules, Sunswap said. By replacing the emission from a traditional diesel TRU, Sunswap’s trial effectively removed 225.6 kg of tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 2.1 kg of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

See also: Trailer lessor to test Sunswap’s solar reefer units

The companies project Staples’ fleet of Endurance TRUs will remove 2.4 tonnes of NOx and 256 tonnes of tailpipe CO2 over the next 10 years. Over the course of a year, the CO2 emission savings per TRU equates to the usage of 18 typical U.K. cars, Sunswap added, and the NOx emission savings equates to the usage of 21 average Euro VI-compliant diesel cars.

Staples also expects to reduce their 10-year, total cost of ownership by 27% and operational expenditures by 78%.

“We’re excited to be supplying Staples Vegetables with their transport fridges from 2024, particularly as they are such an ambitious and forward-thinking distributor,” Sunswap CEO Michael Lowe said. “We were pleased to conclude successful trials in July that proved and exhibited our unit’s versatility for raw foods, and we look forward to seeing our units on the road with Staples full time.”

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