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Apr 26, 2024

Sleeman Breweries tests electric trucks

At our warehouse in the Rivière-des-Prairies (RDP) neighbourhood of Montreal, Sleeman Breweries is taking part in an electrifying new trial (pardon the pun).

For four weeks this spring, Sleeman Breweries has the use of a fully electric Class A truck and the required charger. Select drivers will use the truck on their regular routes throughout Montreal. The resulting data will provide Sleeman Breweries with information specific to our operations to help determine if electric trucks are a viable option for our needs.

“This is a very exciting project for Sleeman Breweries,” says Dave Klaassen, Vice-President, Logistics. “Getting first-hand experience with such leading-edge technology is always fascinating but the potential it has for significant environmental benefit is even more impressive.”

For this project, Sleeman Breweries is collaborating with IVI (Innovative Vehicle Institute) Solutions, a non-profit organization that helps companies pursue electric vehicle technology. The project, which began in 2022, is funded by the Government of Quebec and Hydro Quebec. The truck is loaned to Sleeman Breweries by Groupe Kenworth Montréal. When the trial is complete, the data collected from the experiment will be shared with these partners to help build their understanding of real-world use of electric Class A trucks.

In RDP, the project is lead by Michel Asselin, Distribution Manager and coordinated by Jean-Francois Larose, Distribution Supervisor.

“IVI Solutions chose Sleeman Breweries because we’re a good collaborator and we’ve been agile with this opportunity,” says Michel. “It’s very interesting to test this equipment on real Sleeman delivery routes in Quebec. It’s the best way to evaluate the benefits and opportunities of this new technology.”

Michel says the opportunity has been very welcome at Sleeman Breweries.

The study has three phases:

  1. Explore, in which 60 businesses shared their interest in the trial and explained their trucking needs. IVI Solutions chose 20 businesses to move to Phase 2.
  2. Study, in which telemetric devices were installed on these companies’ diesel trucks for 3 months. The data helped identify five ideal partners for Phase 3.
  3. Test, in which the five selected businesses were loaned an electric truck and charger at no cost for one month, to see how the trucks function in day-to-day use.

“We’re excited about the savings we’ll gain from just participating in the trial,” says Michel. “We estimate that over the four weeks, we’ll save 1,000 L of diesel.”

At Sleeman Breweries, five drivers volunteered to use the truck over the month.

“The driving is very smooth and quiet. There is no vibration,” says Denis Lalande who volunteered to test the truck on his route. “I am less tired at the end of the day!”

By participating in the trial alone, Sleeman Breweries will prevent 4.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere.

As one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, participating in this electric truck trial is a natural fit for Sleeman Breweries.

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