Union Pacific is putting employees in the driver’s seat to achieving the railroad’s sustainability goals by adding dozens of electric vehicles to its systemwide fleet. Over the next six months, 67 electric vehicles – 50 Ford Lightning pickups and 17 Ford Mustang Mach-Es – will be delivered to select field locations across the railroad’s 23-state network.
Growing its zero-emission vehicle fleet helps move Union Pacific closer to one of its Climate Action Plan goals: reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030 from a 2018 baseline, on a path to net zero emissions by 2050.
“Testing electric vehicles in Union Pacific’s rail yards is another great step forward in our sustainability journey,” said Wes Hutcherson, general director-Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain. “In conjunction with other projects, like our battery-electric locomotive fleet, these new vehicles will help further reduce emissions across our operations.”
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Union Pacific began adding electric vehicles to its fleet in 2020, when eight Chevrolet Bolts were procured for use in North Platte, Nebraska; Los Angeles and Roseville, California; Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Chicago. The vehicles were primarily used for customer site visits and administrative purposes.
Now, Union Pacific is expanding its fleet to better understand how electric vehicles can support the railroad’s unique footprint. For example, Operating employees will test using the new, larger Ford Lightning trucks for rail yard maintenance and other field tasks.
The railroad also is working with electric vehicle charging vendor SemaConnect to install charging stations in seven locations over the next year, including North Platte, Nebraska; Long Beach and Roseville, California; North Little Rock, Arkansas; and Houston, Texas.
“We’re excited to move toward utilizing more zero-emission vehicles,” said Dana Bittner, director-Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain. “And as the market continues expanding, we plan to continue growing our electric vehicle fleet.”