Having taken delivery of one of the first Volvo 4x2 FM Electric / 540kwh trucks to arrive in the UK as part of a two-week trial last month, Humber Ports Logistics Ltd (HPL) is excited to review the performance of this zero-exhaust gases, low noise level, and agile new generation truck.

With the Immingham-based trial organised as a result of the decade-old and positive partnership enjoyed between HPL and Crossroads Truck and Bus Ltd, the objective of the concentrated demonstration period has been for HPL to gain all relevant data in a ‘real world’ environment.

Jamie Benton, HPL Director, explains:

“Providing an opportunity to test the FM E-truck’s ability to deal with the broadest possible spread of destinations, payloads and cargo mixes that complement the truck’s driving range of up to 300km/180 miles, the majority of jobs undertaken during the test period have focused on regional assignments, allowing us to complete full round-trips servicing some of HPL’s largest retail clients.

“With the test period over, our task is to evaluate the cost position, including analytics, potential CO2 emission savings, and driver feedback, the latter of which has been extremely positive from our side, as well as our Associated British Port (ABP) partners, who have been nothing but supportive of our net zero targets.

“Whilst fully appreciating that the purchase of this truck/s will be a significant investment, along with operational rustication due to weight capacity and range, we still feel that the truck is a genuine solution and is available today in real-world operations.

“The main obstacle we face as early adopters of this technology is the infrastructure needed to operate the trucks cost-effectively, and the required investment level is substantial. There needs to be more support from Government and local authorities across the UK for a viable electric charging infrastructure to support businesses like us who have made a conscious decision to reduce our carbon footprint.”

With Volvo Trucks, the market leader of European heavy electric trucks, Crossroads Truck and Bus Area Sales Manager Adam North is motivated to collaborate with HPL in the drive for a more sustainable future. He says:

“Our relationship has been thriving for over ten years, making them the perfect candidates to undertake the collaborative e-truck trial. Not only does HPL understand how Volvo operates, but like us, they understand that investment is required to achieve ambitious net zero plans.

“We’re also delighted to learn that HPL’s other strategic partners are supportive of their endeavours, and we are hoping that when all the data is analysed, the figures stand up to make the e-trucks a viable investment and a significant element of HPL’s sustainability action plan.”

Simon Bird, Director of ABP, comments:

“We welcome HPL’s trial of electric vehicles. It sits comfortably alongside ABP’s recent trial of a hydrogen vehicle in our container terminal and our rollout of electric forklifts and vehicles for our marine pilots. It is great to see further steps being taken to help green our supply chains as we all move towards a Net Zero economy.”

And HPL’s Jamie Benton concludes:

“There’s a lot of number crunching and information analysis to complete before any firm decisions are made, but it has been an exciting opportunity to be one of the first container hauliers in the UK to trial an electric truck. And the only way to get the project over the line is with commitment from all our stakeholders. But once armed with a firm zero carbon solution, the conversations we plan to have with our customers will be based on fact rather than assumptions and wishing thinking.”

ABP is exhibiting at Multimodal 2023 on stand 4030

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