Sparks Transport powers forward with new Volvo FM Electric

Glastonbury-based business Sparks Transport has taken delivery of a Volvo FM Electric 4x2 tractor unit after a successful period trialling its local Volvo dealer’s electric demonstrator.

Supplied by Russell Woof, Area Sales Manager, Truck and Bus Wales and West, the customer’s new electric truck will be predominately used to deliver Refresco beverages to Tesco stores.

Jonathan Sparks, Managing Director, Sparks Transport, says: “Sustainability is central to our business plan, so it is hugely exciting to be able to welcome our first heavy duty electric truck. We run a mixed fleet here, but Volvo was the only manufacturer that could provide us with an electric product that would fit seamlessly into our operations.

“The team at Truck and Bus Wales and West has worked diligently on this project to help us pinpoint exactly where electric trucking can work for us, and the demonstrator proved that. We’re looking forward to seeing the real-world results across the coming years.”

The new FM Electric – sporting Sparks Transport’s striking green and yellow livery – is powered by three electrical motors which generate 666 hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque. It is equipped with the maximum six batteries, unlocking a driving range of approximately 300 km. An onboard electromobility traction control system helps manage output on slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

The vehicle utilises Volvo’s standard I-Shift gearbox, which delivers a smooth and ultra-quiet driving experience by constantly evaluating information about speed, weight, road grade and torque demand.

It has a charging time of just 2.5 hours with a 250kW DC charger, or 9.5 hours on a 43kW AC charger. The battery can also be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity mid-shift, in just the same way as a smartphone, because the charger slows down towards the end of the process to protect the battery cells.

To provide a comfortable, stress-free driving experience, the FM Electric has been specified with Volvo Dynamic Steering and I-See Predictive cruise control, aiding manoeuvrability and driving efficiency respectively.

Forward Collision Warning with adaptive cruise control, Advanced Emergency Braking, and Side Collision Support systems provide a comprehensive active safety setup.

Visibility is boosted thanks to Volvo’s distinctive V-shaped LED headlights – which automatically adapt to ambient light conditions – as well as rain sensing windscreen wipers and electrically heated and operated main and wide-angle mirrors.

The Globetrotter cab has been fitted out with leather upholstery and a suspended and heated driver’s seat with dual armrests. Also included is a premium 50mm mattress protector, a 28-litre fridge and additional cab storage. Full air suspension completes a comfortable driving experience.

Sparks Transport is guaranteed maximum uptime thanks to a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract covering all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

Providing both warehousing and distribution services, the new truck joins a 93-strong commercial fleet. Working up to six days a week, it is expected to complete as much as 90,000 km annually.

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