Tesco set to begin UK’s first commercial use of fully electric HGVs
Tesco says converting its distribution network will play an important role in its efforts to become net zero by 2035.
// Tesco is set to launch the first fully-electric HGVs to be used commercially in Britain
// The grocery giant said the two electric HGVs will replace around 65,000 diesel-fuelled road miles with clean green energy
Tesco has launched the UK’s first-ever commercially used, fully electrified, heavy-freight articulated trucks as it takes another step towards its net-zero commitments. The grocer has partnered with logistics firm FSEW to launch two 37-tonne, fully electrified HGV trucks, which will transport goods from Wentloog rail terminal outside Cardiff to Tesco’s distribution centre in Magor, Wales.
The vehicles can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, making the relatively short distance of the round trip an ideal route to test how further vehicles could be rolled out in the fleet, Britain’s biggest supermarket said.
The first two, from the Dutch manufacturer DAF, are expected to make about 65,000 miles of haulage journeys otherwise made by diesel vehicles, cutting an estimated 87.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
The retailer said heavy-goods vehicles make up around 16 per cent of the UK’s domestic transport emissions, adding that “addressing this can play a significant role in delivering the UK’s net-zero ambitions”.
It represents a huge leap forward in electrifying delivery vehicles as, while mass-produced electric cars have been in commission for many years, the technology hasn’t existed as a commercially viable solution for electric haulage and distribution until now.
Britain became the first country to commit to making all new goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under zero-emission by 2035 at the Cop26 climate summit last month.
The largest HGVs will not need to be zero emission until 2040, a decade later than the UK’s target date for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
Jason Tarry, the chief executive of Tesco in the UK and Ireland, said starting to convert its distribution network, one of the largest in the UK, would play an important role in the supermarket’s efforts to become net zero 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.”
But by demonstrating that electric HGV transportation is commercially viable, Tesco said it hoped to contribute to encouraging wider investment in technology and innovation to support the haulage sector’s efforts to reduce emissions and air pollution.