Electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are to be trialled across the UK in a new programme to help freight operators decarbonise their fleet.

The Joint Operator Logistics Trial (JOLT) programme, led by The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF), involves partners including John Lewis Partnership, Volvo Trucks UK, and Flexible Power Systems, a software company specialising in fleet management optimisation software for EVs.

John Lewis Partnership will use an eHGV from Volvo Trucks UK in its logistics operation as part of the project.

The vehicle, a Volvo FM 4×2 tractor unit, is a heavy-duty truck that can carry up to 42 tonnes and can cover up to 300km on a single charge.

JOLT partners will pool data and learning from their experiences with eHGVs in retail, delivery and manufacturing operations to help develop transition plans for their own businesses and for the wider logistics industry.

Specialists at Cambridge University and Heriot-Watt University will analyse and model data including vehicle and charger performance, operational efficiency and costs across as many industry uses as possible.

Professor Philip Greening, an expert in sustainable transport and logistics at Heriot-Watt University and co-director of The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, said, “A key feature of this project is understanding how the different range and load capabilities of electric heavy goods vehicles – as well as downtime for charging – will affect the efficiency of operators and supply chains.

“We’ll do this by analysing logistics data and technical information collected through sophisticated computer simulations known as digital twins, to help us understand operations at scale.”

Justin Laney, Partner and General Manager of Central Transport for John Lewis Partnership said: “We are delighted to be kick starting this important initiative, which will inform our journey beyond eliminating fossil fuel from our fleet by 2030 to achieving a zero-carbon fleet by 2035.”


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