Volvo Trucks has recently provided Tesco, a leading UK supermarket, with a new Volvo FM Electric 4x2 tractor unit as part of the retailer’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. This marks the introduction of the first zero tailpipe emission 40-tonne electric Volvo model into the fleet of a UK supermarket.
Supplied by Jose Lavarello, Key Account Manager for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, the new FM Electric model is equipped with a Globetrotter cab and meets the three-star rating of the Direct Vision Standard. It will operate with various trailer types and lengths, delivering goods to stores across Greater London, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent, specifically handling ambient grocery items on a seven-day-a-week basis.
Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, expressed enthusiasm for the deployment, stating, “Our new Volvo FM Electric is the perfect solution for performing high-capacity grocery deliveries with less environmental impact, and it’s fantastic to see the first example enter service with Tesco. This model is ideal for supermarket fleets wanting to transition to battery electric trucks, and we’re very confident it’s going to generate a lot of interest on the road.”
The FM Electric model is powered by three electrical motors that generate 2,400 Nm of continuous torque. It features Volvo’s I-Shift gearbox, which provides a smooth and ultra-quiet driving experience by continuously evaluating information about speed, weight, road grade, and torque demand.
The truck incorporates an onboard electromobility traction control system to manage power output on slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to customize performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.
Cliff Smith, Tesco’s Fleet Engineering Manager, highlighted the significance of the FM Electric’s suitability for their store deliveries in the South East, stating, “We don’t allocate vehicles to specific routes, so it is imperative any new truck can immediately slot into our workflow and tackle any assignment effectively. We’re confident the FM Electric will do just that, making a seamless transition into our day-to-day operations.”
To ensure maximum uptime, the truck is supported by a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract that covers all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.
Equipped with a maximum of six batteries, the FM Electric offers a range of approximately 300 km and will primarily be charged on-site in Thurrock. It has a charging time of 2.5 hours with a 250 kW DC charger or 9.5 hours with a 43 kW AC charger. The battery can also be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity mid-shift, similar to a smartphone, as the charger slows down towards the end of the process to protect the battery cells.
Tesco, established in 1919, operates 3,822 stores in the UK and Ireland. The Volvo FM Electric joins their distribution fleet consisting of 2,100 commercial vehicles and 4,000 trailers. It is expected to run double shifts, covering approximately 70,000 miles annually