Tesco, the largest British supermarket chain, is set to launch the first commercially available all-electric HGVs in the UK to operate in its distribution center in Wales.
Beginning in January, two 37-tonne lorries will transfer goods from a rail freight station in Cardiff to the company’s Magor hub, roughly 30 miles away.
The trucks can drive roughly 100 miles on a single charge, making the round trip a perfect route to see how other vehicles could be added to the fleet, according to Britain’s largest supermarket.
The first two, from DAF of the Netherlands, are projected to complete around 65,000 miles of haulage trips that would otherwise be undertaken by diesel vehicles, saving an estimated 87.4 tonnes of CO2 per year.
HGVs account for around 16 percent of all emissions from UK transportation, which is now the leading source of greenhouse gases. HGVs are more challenging to electrify than cars due to battery weight and range requirements.
Smaller electric lorries are already available in the UK, and 20 are now being tested by the Department of Transport with the NHS and local governments. A study exploring employing railway-style overhead electric lines to power HGVs on highways has also been commissioned by the Department for Transport.
At the Cop26 climate summit last month, Britain was the first government to pledge to have all new goods trucks weighing more than 26 tonnes zero-emission by 2035. The largest HGVs will not be required to be zero-emission until 2040, a decade after the UK’s goal date for phased-out new petrol and diesel car sales.
Tesco’s UK and Ireland CEO, Jason Tarry, stated that starting to transform its distribution system, which is one of the largest in the country, will be critical in the supermarket’s aspirations to become net-zero by 2035.
“We’ve already made progress by starting our switch to electric home delivery vans and rolling out electric vehicle charging points for our customers. I’m excited that Tesco can also lead the way in electric haulage innovation, helping to tackle this last source of road transport emissions,” Tarry said.
FSEW, the company’s freight partner, announced plans to build a low-carbon fuel center in Cardiff, with additional trucks being powered by renewable biomethane fuel.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)