Food service provider Brakes is testing the performance of two new Frigoblock-refrigerated electric multi-temperature HGVs.

As orginally reported by our sister publication Motor Transport, the trial is monitoring the performance of a 19 tonne Electra truck, fitted with the EK25 Frigoblok and a 19 tonne DAF LF, fitted with Frigoblok FK2 refrigeration unit, as they make deliveries to Brakes’ customers.


The pilot involving the Electra truck was launched in the Midlands in late 2022, while the pilot of the DAF LF truck, which is operating from Brakes’ Reading depot, began in January this year.

Paul Vernon, head of fleet for Sysco GB, Brakes’ parent company, said: “Our vehicles in the UK cover almost 60 million miles a year making our fleet’s transformation to zero-emissions a central element in achieving our company’s ambitious decarbonisation targets and helping our customers with theirs.

“Frigoblock and Thermo King have been our partners for years and we counted on their expertise in finding the right electric transport refrigeration for our new zero-emission vehicles.”

Jon Jerrard-Dinn, area sales manager at Thermo King and Frigoblock, added: “It is uplifting to enable our customers like Brakes to lead the way in decarbonising, electrifying and minimising the environmental impact of transport and delivery operations.

”The technology exists today, and we are working hard to help the industry recognise the benefits and ease of electrifying their refrigerated vehicles to move goods in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We’re excited that together with Brakes and Sysco we can demonstrate this innovation in real life.”

Vernon said the trial of the EK25 refrigeration system has delivered even better performance, in terms of temperature recovery, on the Electra HGV than it has previously on a traditional, diesel-powered truck.

Vernon said: “We have been operating Frigoblock’s electric EK25 refrigeration systems in our fleet for years. Their performance and reliability are exceptional, coupled with low total cost of ownership on account of little maintenance requirements and quick return on investment. We were delighted to find out they can seamlessly work with our new electric HGV.”

He added: “With this electric vehicle, we could go into the city centre like Birmingham, and as soon the driver closed the door, the Frigoblock unit brought the temperature in the load compartment back to the set temperature, even before the vehicle moved on. This is extraordinary and keeps our products ideally maintained.”

The second DAF LF truck, equipped with the next generation Frigoblock FK2, has been trialled since January 2023 from the company’s site in Reading, which operates a sloar panel system.

The unit’s telematics provide Brakes with full, 24/7 visibility of the unit’s operation, remote monitoring, and proactive control, allowing the company to track the unit’s operation at any time, and demonstrate the temperature set points across every journey.

Jerrard-Dinn said: “We are thrilled that Sysco is pioneering and clearing the path for the electrification of transport in the UK with Frigoblock and Thermo King.

“We see customer use of our products as our largest area of opportunity to reduce carbon emissions. This collaboration aligns with Thermo King’s and Trane Technologies’ bold Gigaton Challenge commitment to reduce one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) from our customer’s carbon footprints by 2030.”