Scottish timber firms James Jones & Sons and Scotlog Haulage are partnering with Volvo in a three-year trial of electric timber trucks, funded by Scottish Forestry.
As orginally reported in Motor Transport, James Jones & Sons will trial a 40-tonne articulated truck from its sawmill in Lockerbie which will transport timber to its Hangingshaws national distribution centre, while Scotlog Haulage will test a 44-tonne truck in the Highlands, moving roundwood timber from Inverness Harbour to West Fraser and other local mills.
During the £452,000, three year trial, the vehicles will be evaluated for their achievable mileage versus battery consumption, durability, viability and total cost of ownership.
The two new Volvo electric timber vehicles are currently being manufactured in Gothenburg and are expected to be ready for use later this summer.
Both companies will share their experiences of running the electric lorries with others in the timber and rural haulage sectors.
Creel Maritime consultants is managing the project and will monitor the use of the lorries and arrange knowledge exchange opportunities over the course of the trial.
Neil Stoddart, Creel Maritime director, said: “This is a very exciting project but there are big challenges in running articulated lorries on electric power, mainly on cost grounds and infrastructure. This three-year trial will look into all these aspects and I’m keen to share as much detail on this with the industry.”
Around seven million tonnes of wood are harvested from Scotland’s forests each year and transported to sawmills, board manufacturers and other processors, mostly on 44 tonne diesel vehicles.
Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s rural affairs secretary, added: “Forestry is vital to helping Scotland achieve its net zero target by 2045. Around 7.6 million tonnes of harmful CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere from Scotland’s trees each year and the timber used in houses and other wooden products lock away carbon for its lifetime. The forestry sector is innovative and always using new technology to increase its business efficiencies. I welcome this new trial and look forward to hearing more about the findings as we drive closer to Net Zero.”