Chinese-made electric trucks boost green logistics in Mexico

For Carlos Rendon, a veteran truck driver in Mexico’s capital, it was a new experience driving Chinese-made electric trucks featuring greater comfort, safety and environmental friendliness.

Rendon has mainly operated diesel-powered vehicles during his 14 years as a delivery truck driver in Mexico City. Recently, his employer, top Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, launched a brand new fleet of 20 fully electric Chinese-built trucks.

Manufactured by China’s leading new-energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturer BYD, the trucks are the first of their kind in Mexico, operating within the 21-ton, heavy-duty logistics vehicle segment.

Both Grupo Modelo and the city’s government hope the move marks the start of a thriving environmentally-friendly logistics chain for the sprawling metropolis.

With these vehicles, “you take better care of the environment for the benefit of future generations, because we reduce pollution on a day-to-day basis,” Rendon told Xinhua.

In addition, “they offer greater visibility” and “are totally silent, which helps the neighborhoods we drive through,” where noise can be irratating, Rendon said.

Julian Villarroel, vice president of corporate fleet sales at BYD Mexico, described the acquisition and launch of the fleet as a big step for “technological transformation of electric mobility in Mexico and Latin America.”

Lithium battery-powered forklifts, also manufactured by BYD, will be used to load beer onto the trucks, so “the sustainable virtuous circle from the distribution center to the store for sale to the public” is closed, and a “zero emissions project (that is) unique globally” is consolidated, Villarroel said.

BYD trucks’ state-of-the-art lithium batteries are certified for sustainability, and have an eight-year and 500,000-kilometer warranty.

Zou Zhou, country manager of BYD Mexico, said that his company wants to be able to contribute to the development of green energy technology and industry in Mexico and Latin America.

“Through green product solutions, we continue to accelerate the green transformation of the manufacturing and transportation industry to support building a green and sustainable society,” Zou said.

According to Cristian Benes, regional director of Logistics Purchasing at AB InBev, Grupo Modelo’s parent company, an electric truck emits 10 tons less carbon dioxide than the 26 tons emitted annually by a traditional fossil-fuel truck, a reduction that is equivalent to the carbon dioxide absorption of 425 trees per year.

Grupo Modelo aims to have a fleet of 500 heavy-duty electric trucks by 2025, reducing carbon emissions in its value chain by 25 percent.

Mexico City’s Secretary for Mobility Andres Lajous underscored the impact of having one of Mexico’s largest companies join the drive towards electromobility and the fight against climate change.

Establishing the truck fleet is “a very important step because freight vehicles are responsible for 20 percent of pollutant particle emissions,” Lajous told Xinhua.

Chinese-made electric vehicles are also helping to green Mexico City’s public transit network, as the local government promotes electromobility to achieve a more sustainable environment.

Mexico’s capital is open to investment and exchange in electromobility and sustainability, areas in which various Chinese cities can contribute knowledge and experience, Lajous said.

“We have seen in Chinese cities important examples of electromobility, and that collaboration, and the exchange of information and experiences is possible, to see each successful result and what the caveats are,” said Lajous.