First Electric Freightway eHGVs hit the road

Commercial Motor
May 14, 2024

A.F. Blakemore & Son has replaced two of its diesel trucks with new Volvo FM electric units under the Electric Freightway programme. Part of the Zero Emission HGV and Infrastructure Demonstrator Programme, Electric Freightway is a consortium of 33 member companies working to decarbonise heavy goods transport. 


A.F. Blakemore’s responsible business director, Caoire Blakemore, said: “We are thrilled to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution in the convenience retail sector. The addition of these electric HGVs demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. We believe this is just the beginning of our journey towards becoming a net zero carbon company by 2040 and we are excited to see the positive impact these vehicles will have on our operations and the environment.”


Supplied by the Hartshorne Group and Volvo Trucks, the FM electrics are expected to save 45,000 litres of diesel and more than 120 tonnes of CO2 annually. The trucks have a range of 185 miles thanks to a 540kWh battery and three electric motors which provide a combined 675bhp. 


Sam Clarke, chief vehicle officer at GRIDSERVE, said: “This is a proud day for everybody involved in the Electric Freightway programme and very soon, GRIDSERVE will be installing the depot charging that will support these impressive trucks. A.F. Blakemore & Son has such a deep understanding of retail, wholesale and foodservice, but it’s their enviable values-led culture that makes them a perfect consortium partner. We’re looking forward to supporting their decarbonisation journey and hope that others will follow their lead.”


The trucks join a fleet of 103 tractor units, 178 trailers and 130 rigids. Based out of the company’s Bedford depot, a second phase in this initiative will see two more eHGVs put into service from A.F.’s central distribution centre in Willenhall, West Midlands. 


Alistair Barnes, senior programme manager at Innovate UK, said: “We are proud to support the Electric Freightway programme alongside the Department for Transport, and it is fantastic to help companies like A.F. Blakemore & Son play their part in the UK’s world-leading plans to decarbonise our vital transport network and share learning.”

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Commercial Motor is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

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