Tesco has set a goal of halving the carbon emissions of the average UK shopping basket - and to do that then, if you’ll forgive the predictable pun, every little helps. And the supermarket giant has taken the first step to reducing the environmental impact of its food deliveries by introducing its first electric articulated delivery trucks.
The two 37-tonne DAF CF Electric trucks are being used by freight company FSEW to transport food and other goods from the Wentloog rail terminal near Cardiff to Tesco’s distribution centre in Magor, Wales. The journey is around 30 miles each way, and Tesco claims the use of the two lorries will replace around 65,000 diesel-fuelled road miles – enough to save around 87.4 tonnes of CO2e in tailpipe emissions.
FSEW has installed charging points at its facility in South Wales so that the trucks can be recharged. Tesco claims the machines will have a range of around 100 miles. The DAF CF Electric uses a 350kWh battery pack, with a motor that can deliver up to 240kW of peak power. Each HGV can Carr up to 48 cages of goods.
Tesco claims that the two trucks will help it to study the potential and range of the lorries for use elsewhere in the UK. The firm is aiming for its operations to be net zero by 2035, while FSEW has pledged to replace 40 diesel vehicles with lot-carbon alternatives by 2025.
Geoff Tomlinson, the managing director of FSEW, said the initiative would be “transformational for the UK’s commercial and retail industries and is just the start of our work to supply electric heavy freight vehicles to customers such as Tesco.”
He added: “Setting the industry standard is important to us which is why we also have plans underway to create an eFreight hub in Cardiff which will include a low carbon fuel facility for the use of all freight providers and commercial and municipal operators.”
Cutting emissions from HGVs could have a significant impact on emissions. According to government date, while HGVs only account for 5% of vehicle miles in the UK, they are responsible for 16% of vehicle emissions.