Bettaway Supply Chain Services has introduced all-electric yard tractors to its logistics and warehousing operations supporting AriZona Beverage Company’s production operations in Edison, NJ.

The battery-electric yard switching tractors are specialized units used to position trailers in the facility’s parking area, move them to and from dock doors where cargoes are cross-docked among trailers being unloaded and reloaded, and then reposition trailers in the yard where they are then mated with road tractors for dispatch.

The two EV yard switchers, which replaced diesel-powered units, can operate for nearly 24 hours before recharging, and take less than two hours to recharge. The specialized units also have ceramic solar tinting on all the cab’s windows to protect drivers from heat and UV ray exposure. In addition, the units were painted with a unique graphic design and color scheme developed by AriZona and promoting its flagship iced tea product.

They are domiciled at a state-of-the-art, AriZona Beverage Company iced tea factory that has one of the largest solar panel installations in the state of New Jersey. On a sunny day, the solar array produces 5 megawatts of power, enough to supply 300 to 400 homes.

“The EV units have been performing flawlessly, the drivers enjoy the smooth quiet ride as well as no more exhaust fumes, which were an issue with the diesel units,” noted John Vaccaro, president of Bettaway, which provides high-performance supply chain services to major beverage and CPG companies and is a leader in pallet recycling and sustainable supply and management of national pallet networks.

“This is one of several steps we are taking to introduce EV units to different parts of our operations,” he added. “We have a deep commitment to sustainability in logistics, and we intend to continue exploring EV opportunities and deploying zero-emissions equipment as it becomes commercially viable.” Bettaway also has on order three of Tesla’s long-delayed electric semi-truck units.

Among other sustainability initiatives, since 2008, Bettaway has been spec'ing light weight trucks and trailers for its 150-tractor, 900-trailer fleet, delivering improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Over the past several years Bettaway also has been upgrading its fleet with fully automatic transmissions, further improving fuel economy.

In addition, the company employs advanced transportation optimization software for route planning and management to ensure efficient delivery and minimum miles traveled and fuel used. Lastly, the company has installed motion-sensitive lighting in its warehouses to minimize electricity use.