Tesco is to pioneer the use of heavy electric trucks to supply food and other products to its distribution centre in Wales early in the New Year, in a move it said would mark the first commercial use of fully electric articulated heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the UK.
The supermarket chain plans to trial two new 37-tonne DAF electric vehicles to move merchandise from Wentloog rail terminal near Cardiff to its distribution centre in Magor as part of a partnership with freight forwarding company FSEW, it announced this week.
Tesco calculates that rolling out the two lorries could replace around 65,000 diesel-fuelled road miles with clean green energy, thereby removing around 87.4 tonnes of CO2e per year.
Heavy goods vehicles make up around 16 percent of the UK’s domestic transport carbon emissions. While improved battery and transmission technology has advanced electric power in smaller commercial vehicles, haulage operators have been wary of electricity for their heaviest trucks.
To power the new service, FSEW has installed charging points at its site in South Wales that provide enough energy to power large vehicles for 100 miles at a time.
At around 30 miles each way, the journey between the two Welsh distribution hubs is seen by the chain as an ideal testbed for understanding the potential and range of EV trucks for introduction elsewhere in Tesco’s fleet.
Last month Tesco announced 17 EV vans based in Glasgow would lead the transition to the chain’s all-electric delivery. Tesco intends becoming net zero in its own operations by 2035.
Tesco CEO Jason Tarry said EV adoption is linked to the supermarket’s other enhanced sustainability measures, including investing in nine new wind and solar farms across the UK.