Uber Freight declares ‘electric trucks are finally here’ with its first EV pilot program

Uber Freight is teaming up with California-based WattEV, an electric trucking and charging infrastructure company, to launch the company’s first zero-emission electric truck pilot.

Uber Freight announces its first electric truck pilot

“Electric trucks are finally here,” Uber Freight head of sustainability Illina Frankiv declared after announcing the collaboration.

Uber’s (the rideshare company) commercial trucking division, Uber Freights, revealed the strategic partnership Tuesday as part of a joint effort to advance zero-emission freight transportation.

The collaboration will deploy electric trucks on select routes starting in Southern California with plans to grow nationwide using WattEV’s electric heavy-duty transportation platform.

CHEP, a global supply chain solutions leader, will be the first shipper to participate in the pilot as it works toward cutting emissions from its value chain. As Marisa Sanchez Urrea, Brambles (CHEPs parent company) director of global supply chain decarbonization, explains:

Our business relies on heavy-duty road transport, which is one of the biggest challenges to transition our value chain to net-zero emissions by 2040, CHEP’s long-term decarbonisation goal. This first electric truck pilot in the U.S., in partnership with Uber Freight and WattEV, is a step in the right direction as we move towards a net positive impact.

In addition, WattEV is developing a nationwide network of heavy-duty electric charging solutions, starting in Southern California that’s designed for EV truck fleets.

The pilot program will help the company expand its network as it develops routes from the Port of Long Beach to the Inland Empire and Central Valley, with plans to expand to North Carolina and Arizona.

WattEV’s electric innovations, combined with the Uber Freight platform, allow shippers like CHEP to book, schedule, and complete loads while tracking the status, loading key performance indicators, and managing paperwork all in one place.

Uber Freight has built one of the most extensive logistics networks with over 130,000 carriers and thousands of shippers from Fortune 500 companies like LG, AB InBev, Nestle, and Land O’ Lakes.

Electrek’s Take

Transitioning heavy-duty freight trucks to electric will be critical in reducing the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

According to EPA data, transportation contributed the most GHG emissions of any US economic sector in 2020, with 27%. Although light-duty passenger vehicles account for the vast majority (57%), medium and heavy-duty trucks still represent 26% of all GHG emissions in transportation.

Freight movement in the US accounted for nearly a third (31%) of all transportation in 2019 and is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years if something isn’t done.

Uber’s new collaboration with WattEV and CHEP will serve as an example as the partners learn valuable insights through the electric truck pilot that can be used to cut emissions from freight transportation as we advance.