The Electric Freightway programme, spearheaded by Gridserve and principal partner Hitachi ZeroCarbon, has published its first report, demonstration the project is making rapid progress with the first battery electric trucks ready for the road in Q2 2024.

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The report outlines the objectives and delivery timeline of the Electric Freightway programme, which aims to establish the most extensive and advanced electric Heavy Goods Vehicle (eHGV) charging network globally. Building on the commitments announced in October 2023, the programme intends to support and monitor a fleet of up to 140 eHGVs while installing approximately 200 eHGV chargers across key locations such as motorway service areas, truck stops, and commercial depots. Currently, the programme comprises 33 consortium partner and member companies, working closely with stakeholders to promote the decarbonisation of HGVs.

Key highlights from the report include an updated development roadmap and plans to keep the haulage industry informed of significant insights. In the coming months, consortium members will receive their first eHGV orders for immediate deployment, while approvals are awaited to commence the installation of the first eHGV charging depot. Hitachi ZeroCarbon will also conduct surveys among drivers and fleet managers to gauge perceptions of eHGVs over time and gather valuable operational data.

James Comer, Programme Director, Hitachi ZeroCarbon, said: “With the UK Government’s ambitious targets of ending combustion-powered heavy goods vehicles by 2035, and 2040 for heavier vehicles, now is the time to enact meaningful change and deploy the insights that data can provide. This project is the pioneer demonstration for the decarbonisation of the UK’s logistics industry and will tangibly test what a zero carbon future could look like. We’re proud to provide the unique insight that will stimulate the market to make the move to battery electric trucks and a Net Zero society.”

Sam Clarke, Chief Vehicle Officer, Gridserve added: “The decarbonisation of the UK truck fleet is one of the greatest disruptors haulage and logistics have ever seen and we are now well under way through this project to catalyse material change. In Electric Freightway, we’ll push electric HGVs to their limits to establish just what is possible, while highlighting where there is the need for process, technological or policy innovation to enable the transition to electric. This first report enables us to set out all our ambitions, achievements and challenges to date and set the standard for all to follow

Moreover, the programme aims to build a charging network that benefits the entire industry, welcoming feedback and collaboration from stakeholders beyond the Electric Freightway consortium.

Looking ahead, the next report, scheduled for release in the summer, will delve into the driving cycle efficiency of eHGVs, lessons learned from infrastructure installations, and the challenges organizations face in adopting eHGV infrastructure.

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