Branston gets first Volvo FM Electric

Commercial Motor
December 11, 2023

On its path to reach net zero by 2035 Branston has taken delivery of its first electric truck, a Volvo FM Electric 4x2.

The potato supplier trailed this vehicle in June this year from Volvo dealer Crossroads Truck and Bus. 

Paul Donkin, group transport manager at Branston, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for us to introduce our first electric vehicle (EV) to our transport network. After the trial, we knew we could start to integrate an EV into the fleet, and initially we’ll be using it to do regular depot deliveries to Livingston as well as a few farm trips to test the mileage and efficiency.  

“Getting this EV is a big step, and we are training our drivers in the best way to drive it, which is quite different to a standard diesel truck. We're also investing in driver training to ensure that the rest of our fleet is driven as efficiently as possible. We can achieve a saving of 20% on miles per gallon when cruise control and acceleration are used strategically, which all helps to bring costs and carbon down.”

This vehicle could potentially save up to 50 tonnes of carbon emissions a year compared to a diesel truck. To support its new EV, Branston installed a fast charger so the truck can charge in two hours rather than 10 hours. 

Donkin added: “One of the challenges will be the infrastructure, or lack of it in some places. While we can do what we can as a business to work towards net zero, without infrastructure across the country keeping pace, there’s only so far we can go. Branston will be investing in a fast charger at our Scottish site and will be monitoring the performance of the EV to determine our next steps. 

“We’re open minded to all avenues and know there are many routes we can take, including a hybrid approach combining EVs and hydrogen powered vehicles. This is just one of many changes we expect in our transportation of spuds in the next 10 to 15 years.” 

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