This milestone marks the introduction of the first 40-tonne electric Volvo model with zero tailpipe emissions into a UK supermarket’s service.
Provided by Jose Lavarello, Key Account Manager for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, the FM Electric boasts a Globetrotter cab and meets the three-star rating of the Direct Vision Standard. With its versatility to accommodate various trailer types and lengths, the truck will transport goods to Tesco stores across Greater London, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent, ensuring the delivery of ambient grocery items throughout the week.
Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, expresses his enthusiasm, stating, “Our new Volvo FM Electric offers an environmentally friendly solution for high-capacity grocery deliveries. We’re delighted to witness its deployment at Tesco, as it presents an ideal choice for supermarket fleets transitioning to battery electric trucks. We’re confident that it will attract significant attention on the road.”
The FM Electric is equipped with three electric motors capable of generating 2,400 Nm of continuous torque. Complemented by Volvo’s popular I-Shift gearbox, the truck offers a smooth and remarkably quiet driving experience. The onboard electromobility traction control system intelligently manages power distribution, ensuring optimal performance on slippery surfaces. Furthermore, the truck provides different drive modes to customize performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.
Cliff Smith, Tesco’s Fleet Engineering Manager, comments, “The arrival of this fully electric 40-tonne Volvo tractor unit is a significant milestone for our delivery fleet and supports our ambitious sustainability targets.” Smith emphasizes the seamless integration of the FM Electric into Tesco’s operations, affirming that it can handle any assignment effectively without requiring specific routes.
The truck comes with a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract, guaranteeing Tesco maximum uptime by covering maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.
Featuring a maximum of six batteries, the FM Electric offers an approximate range of 300km. Charging primarily occurs on-site in Thurrock, with a charging time of just 2.5 hours using a 250kW DC charger, or 9.5 hours with a 43 kW AC charger. Additionally, the battery can be rapidly charged 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.
Smith adds, “Jose and his team have gone above and beyond, ensuring that this first FM Electric meets our requirements. It’s undoubtedly the cleanest, greenest, and quietest tractor unit in our fleet, complemented by a range of connected services that facilitate the transition to electric vehicles, including real-time energy status and live positioning.”
Established in 1919, Tesco operates 3,822 stores across the UK and Ireland. With the addition of the Volvo FM Electric, Tesco’s distribution fleet, consisting of 2,100 commercial vehicles and 4,000 trailers, takes a significant step towards sustainable transportation. The truck is expected to cover approximately 70,000 miles annually, running double shifts.