Ferguson Enterprises, LLC announced Sept. 13 a collaboration with Ford Motor Company to explore alternative fuel sources for a more sustainable transportation future in commercial fleets.
The partnership places a first-of-its-kind F550 Fuel Cell Prototype Chassis Work Truck in service with Ferguson’s daily fleet operations for six months. This pilot program aims to evaluate how fuel cell technology will operate within the Ferguson fleet while providing real-world usage data to Ford, according to a news release. As part of the collaboration, Ferguson will prepare a location in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the installation of temporary infrastructure equipment for the duration of the pilot.
Ferguson is a Virginia-based distributor of plumbing supplies, waterworks, fire, fabrication, HVAC and industrial products and services. Ferguson appeared several times in Modern Distribution Management’s 2022 Top Distributor list, ranking as the No. 1 plumbing distributor, No. 2 HVACR distributor, No. 2 industrial PVF distributor and No. 4 industrial distributor.
“We are taking a proactive approach to meeting the challenge for a more sustainable future, recognizing the critical role fuel-efficient trucks play to keep American businesses running,” Ferguson CEO Kevin Murphy said. “We are pleased to announce this innovative collaboration with Ford to help improve alternative fuel options in their medium-duty fleet, in line with our overall corporate sustainability strategy to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.”
The pilot program with Ford complements Ferguson’s previously announced pilot program to launch 30 all-electric delivery trucks in its fleet throughout California in collaboration with Holman and Electrada.
“As we reviewed emissions from our fleet, we realized our scale in the industry provided us with an opportunity to invest in and test new technologies. Participation in Ford’s F550 Fuel Cell Prototype Work Truck pilot program will provide further learnings as we work to convert Ferguson’s fleet more efficiently,” said Denise Vaughn, Ferguson vice president of environmental, social and governance. “Ultimately Ferguson’s investment in new technologies will set the industry standard for private fleet conversion, driving an expansion of the country’s refueling infrastructure.”
MDM Executive Editor Mike Hockett interviewed Vaughn for an MDM Podcast in July that covered much more about what Ferguson is up to on the sustainability front.
“Ford’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions across the globe includes investigating multiple technologies that will help us achieve these goals across a broad spectrum of applications,” Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Executive Director Jim Buczkowski said. “This collaboration with Ferguson is a strong example of where our Ford Pro business and the potential of fuel cell propulsion systems might address the application gaps that battery electric vehicles just can’t fulfill.”