Tesco to become first UK commercial operator with electric HGVs

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Tesco is to deploy 2 DAF electric trucks to operations at its Wales distribution centre. The EVs will represent the UK’s first commercial operation of fully-electric artic trucks.

Tesco to become first UK commercial operator with electric HGVs
Photo: Tesco
The electric DAF CFs will start delivering goods in the New Year, becoming the first of their kind in the UK to do so. The vehicles will be used to move containers from the Wentloog rail terminal near Cardiff to Tesco’s Magor distribution centre.

The operation is part of Tesco’s partnership with logistics and international freight forwarding company FSEW. Tesco believes the two electric HGVs could clock up 65,000 road miles with clean green energy, cutting approximately 87.4 tonnes of CO2 per year as a result.

In order to power the lorries, FSEW has installed chargers at its South Wales site that will provide enough energy for around 100 miles per charge. The distance between the rail terminal and the distribution centre is only 30 miles each way, which is seen as a good journey to first test and study the electric trucks.

Commenting on the news, Tesco UK and ROI CEO Jason Tarry said the electric trucks were part of the retailer’s journey to becoming net zero by 2035:

“Tesco’s distribution network is one of the largest in the UK and plays an important role in our efforts to become net zero in our own operations by 2035. We’ve already made progress by starting our switch to electric home delivery vans and rolling out electric vehicles 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 with the support of FSEW.”

Tesco hopes that if it can prove electric transport is financially viable, it may spark wider investment in technology that reduces CO2 emissions in the haulage sector.

The FSEW partnership will also see Tesco replace over 40 diesel vehicles with low-emission alternatives. The company plans to switch to fleet-wide zero-emissions transport operations by 2025.

Geoff Tomlinson, managing director of FSEW,  says Tesco’s announcement represents “a major step forward in our commitment to providing zero emissions transport freight services”.

“Together we are working to create a cleaner and greener logistics experience. This is transformational for the UK’s commercial and retail industries and is just the start of our work to supply electric heavy freight vehicles to customers such as Tesco,” said Tomlinson.

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