True to its historic General Electric name, GE Appliances is going electric with its transportation in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee.
GE Appliances, a division of the Chinese appliance maker Haier, announced Wednesday it is deploying a fleet of electric freight vehicles on routes between the company's inbound warehouses and its manufacturing facilities across the South, including the GE Roper plant in LaFayette, Georgia.
GE officials said the move will help the company lower its carbon emissions and improve its sustainability ratings while also lowering the cost of moving manufacturing materials and components.
GE Appliances is working with Einride, a Swedish freight technology company that provides digital, electric and autonomous shipping services. Einride expanded into the United States last fall.
"We've adopted many environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations," Harry Chase, senior director for central materials at GE Appliances, said in a statement Wednesday. "As we invest and expand our U.S. manufacturing to better serve our customers, we will deploy Einride's EV technology on routes we frequently use to move materials. That's where the use of these vehicles can have a big impact on reducing emissions and costs."
The EV trucks will be driven from the Port of Savannah on the Georgia coast to GE Appliances' inbound warehousing and logistics centers, manufacturing sites and finished-goods warehouses. The trucks have a range of 200 miles per charge and will cover an estimated 125,000 miles annually — eliminating 210 tons of carbon dioxide emissions within the first year, officials said.
"GE Appliances has been pivotal to our U.S. expansion with their commitment to building a more strategic, sustainable supply chain," Niklas Reinedahl, general manager of North America at Einride, said in an announcement of the agreement with GE Appliances. "Deployment of this electric fleet together with their support of our autonomous EV solutions initiative will allow GEA to further reduce its environmental footprint. We're excited to see the impact of our technology in action."
The shift to EVs was also welcomed by operators of the Port of Savannah.
"At the Georgia Ports Authority, we're excited to have innovative customers such as GE Appliances helping to drive sustainability in the state of Georgia," authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a statement Wednesday. "The company's use of electric trucks serves as an efficient model for short-haul container handling."
Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested more than $2 billion in its nine U.S. plants and nationwide distribution network, including a $118 million expansion of its Roper plant in LaFayette that is projected to add 600 jobs. Nationwide, GE's U.S. investments have resulted in the creation of more than 4,000 new jobs.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6340. Follow on Twitter at @dflessner1.