Tesco has revealed that it will be launching the UK’s first commercially used fully electric heavy freight articulated trucks.
The two new 37-tonne DAF electric vehicles will transport food and other products from Wentloog rail terminal outside Cardiff to Tesco’s distribution centre in Magor, Wales.
The retailer is working in partnership with logistics and international freight forwarding company, FSEW.
Tesco says that heavy goods vehicles make up around 16% of the UK’s domestic transport emissions and by addressing this, they can play a significant role in delivering the UK’s net-zero ambitions.
Commercially viable solution for electric haulage
Despite significant advances in battery technology and charging infrastructure for smaller vehicles, there hasn’t been a commercially viable solution for electric haulage and distribution until now.
These first two lorries will replace around 65,000 diesel-fuelled road miles with clean green energy, removing 87.4 tonnes of CO2 per year.
To power the new service, FSEW has installed charging points at its site in South Wales that provide enough energy to power these large vehicles for 100 miles before they need to be charged again.
At around 30 miles each way, the Wentloog – Magor journey is an ideal location to understand the potential and range of these lorries for use throughout the UK and elsewhere in Tesco’s fleet.
Demonstrating that electric HGV transportation is commercially viable
Tesco points out that by demonstrating that electric HGV transportation is commercially viable, this service will contribute to encouraging wider investment in technology and innovation that will support the haulage sector’s efforts to reduce emissions and air pollution.
It will also contribute to Tesco’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions in its own operations by 2035, and FSEW’s work to replace more than 40 diesel vehicles with low-carbon alternatives and switch to fleet-wide zero-emissions transport operations by 2025.
Tesco’s chief executive, Jason Tarry, said: “Tesco’s distribution network is one of the largest in the UK and plays an important role in our efforts to become net-zero in our own operations by 2035.
“We’ve already made progress by starting our switch to electric home delivery vans and rolling out electric vehicle charging points for our customers.”
‘Lead the way in electric haulage innovation’
He added: “I’m excited that Tesco can also lead the way in electric haulage innovation, helping to tackle this last source of road transport emissions with the support of FSEW.”
The managing director of FSEW, Geoff Tomlinson, said: “This is a landmark day for us here at FSEW, representing a major step forward in our commitment to providing zero-emissions transport freight services.
“Together we are working to create a cleaner and greener logistics experience.”
He added: “This is transformational for the UK’s commercial and retail industries and is just the start of our work to supply electric heavy freight vehicles to customers such as Tesco.”