Wilbur-Ellis, marketer, distributor and manufacturer of agricultural products, has announced a move towards electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet under a new partnership with Ford.
The company is initially integrating 10 new electric trucks into its fleet in Sonoma and the Salinas Valley of California.
Ford Pro is also providing the charging stations and on-board telematics that can remotely optimise charging, monitor vehicle diagnostics and help improve driver safety through its cloud-based software.
The announcement was made at the Dutton Ranch in Sebastopol, a vineyard in the Sonoma wine region which is participating in a pilot programme with Ford Pro to test its software and charging solutions, along with Ford’s electric cargo vans and pickup trucks, in real-world farming conditions.
The project is part of Wilbur-Ellis’ efforts to reduce emissions and achieve its sustainability goals.
John Buckley, Wilbur-Ellis President and Chief Executive Officer said: “We’re very excited about being among the first to use the new Ford F-150® Lightning™ trucks in a commercial, agricultural setting.
“This collaboration is a win for everyone. Ford Pro will see its new electric trucks in action. Wilbur-Ellis will begin the transition to electric vehicles in our fleet, which includes 2,800 on-road vehicles worldwide. And our customers will benefit from the information we gather about the impact these vehicles could have in their operations.”
Wilbur-Ellis also plans to increase the use of renewable energy in its manufacturing and distribution operations, with the installation of solar panels at a number of its company locations.