Thermo King hybrid-electric multi-temp trailer

Innovating for Impact: Thermo King® hybrid-electric multi-temp trailer debuts in Chicago

Thermo King’s hybrid-electric multi-temperature refrigerated trailer makes its debut in Chicago, the culmination of a multi-year collaboration with Martin Brower.

We’re helping solve our customers’ big challenges by innovating and delivering solutions that are better for their business—and for the environment.

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Project At-a-Glance:

The opportunity: 

  • Transport goods in multiple cold temperatures using industry-leading technology: an emissions-reducing, hybrid-electric refrigerated trailer

The solution: 

  • The Thermo King evolve™ hybrid-electric, multi-temperature trailer

Sustainability outcomes: 

  • Emissions reduction of 100 pounds of carbon per unit per day

In 2021, Thermo King partnered with leading logistics provider Martin Brower to run trials of the single-temp evolve™ hybrid-electric trailer refrigeration system. This past December the new, multi-temp evolve trailer went into service, making supply deliveries to Chicago-area quick service restaurant locations as part of Martin Brower’s trucking fleet.

The battery-powered trailer has performed extremely well over the past two months of operations, not only maintaining its cargo at precise temperatures, but doing so with zero direct emissions.  

“This technology has the potential to significantly decarbonize the cold chain,” said Paul Kroes, Sr. Trailer Product Manager, Thermo King Americas. “In our trials we recorded average emissions reduction of 100 pounds of carbon per unit per day. When you consider how many long-haul refrigerated trailers that are on the roads today, you’re talking about massive carbon-reduction potential.” 

Thermo King and Martin Brower have been testing electrified trailers for more than two years, transporting loads of refrigerated and deep-frozen goods various distances under differing climate conditions. All the while, engineers have used intelligent dashboards and telematics to collect performance data to improve the technology and better meet customer needs.

"A big focus of the research has been to understand the customer, to learn with them and create the best solution to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of their products,” said Sophia Krueger, Channel Marketing Manager for Thermo King Americas. “Partnerships like this are just one way we are providing sustainable and reliable transport climate control solutions that move the cold chain forward.” 

By 2025, Thermo King will have an all-electric solution in every transport segment of the cold chain. The evolve portfolio will also be critical in advancing Trane Technologies’ 2030 Sustainability Commitments, including the Gigaton Challenge, an initiative aimed at reducing customer greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons over the next six years.

“Partnerships like this are just one way we are providing sustainable and reliable transport climate control solutions that move the cold chain forward.” 

Sophia Krueger

Channel Marketing Manager for Thermo King Americas

Along with the built environment, the transportation cold chain is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and presents a major opportunity for carbon emissions reductions. Thermo King’s evolve portfolio of electric refrigerated transportation solutions represents a big step toward a low-carbon cold chain.

"The evolve trials have been instrumental in highlighting the challenges and possibilities associated with transitioning to electrification," stated Kroes. "Through these trials, we have reaffirmed our ability to transport goods at precise temperatures with utmost reliability and sustainability. Our approach revolves around delivering flexible, dependable, and scalable solutions that cater to the unique needs of our customers." 

Thought Leaders

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Chair and CEO, Trane Technologies

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Donny Simmons

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Holly Paeper

President, Commercial HVAC Americas, Trane Technologies

Paul Camuti

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, Trane Technologies

Steve Hagood

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Trane Technologies

Chris Kuehn

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Senior Vice President, Global Integrated Supply Chain, Trane Technologies