Two new Volvo FM electrics for Lenham Storage

Lenham Storage has put its first zero-tailpipe emission trucks into operation, having taken delivery of two new Volvo FM Electric 4x2 tractor units.

The addition of the electric trucks marks the next step on the road for the forward-thinking, family-owned business’ sustainability drive.

Supplied by Steve Moon, Truck Sales Director at MC Truck & Bus, the new additions join the fleet following a successful trial with a demonstrator vehicle, which highlighted how electric-powered trucks could fit seamlessly into Lenham Storage’s operations in and around London.

Andrew Fulcher, Transport Operations Director at Lenham Storage, says: “As a business, we have always tried to be at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies when it comes to greener alternative fuels.

“Many of our customers operate in the food and retail sectors, with ambitious targets in terms of cutting carbon emissions across their supply-chain, which ties in well with our own strategy and ethos. We are already running two Volvo FH gas-powered tractor units and are very happy to have taken the next step with these electric FMs.”

The new trucks – sporting Lenham Storage’s eye-catching blue and red livery – have hit the ground running, carrying out multi-drop deliveries mainly inside the M25 as part of the business’ core ambient grocery and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) work.

Powered by three electrical motors which generate 666 hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, each FM Electric 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.

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

The FMs – which meet Transport for London’s three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating – work throughout the day before returning to Lenham Storage’s Maidstone depot to charge overnight on a 43kW AC charger.

A full Volvo Gold contract guarantees maximum uptime and covers all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

“The response we’ve had from our drivers has been really positive,” adds Fulcher. “One of the guys has been with us for 23 years and he said the main thing he noticed when getting back in a diesel, after a few days driving the electric, was the noise and vibrations. It’s obviously a big change but the electrics are very nice to drive.

“Overall, we’re very happy with how they have settled in. The range is delivering everything we were promised so far, and they are returning to the depot with plenty of life left in the battery. We’re keen to push them even further too with some more general haulage work.”

Family-owned Lenham Storage was established in 1946. Today it operates a fleet of around 260 trucks and trailers from its two main sites in Maidstone and Andover, providing BRCGS AA* certified storage and logistics services for a wide range of customers within the ambient food sector.

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