Tesco to begin use of fully electric HGVs

Tesco is to launch the first fully-electric HGVs to be used commercially in Britain to serve its distribution centre in Wales. 

Two 37-tonne lorries will transport goods from a rail freight terminal in Cardiff to the company’s hub in Magor, about 30 miles away, from next month.

The vehicles can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, making the relatively short distance of the round trip an ideal route to test how further vehicles could be rolled out in the fleet, Britain’s biggest supermarket said.

The first two, from the Dutch manufacturer DAF, are expected to make about 65,000 miles of haulage journeys otherwise made by diesel vehicles, cutting an estimated 87.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

HGVs contribute about 16% of all emissions from UK transport, the sector that now contributes most to greenhouse gases. Battery weight and range requirements have made HGVs a more difficult proposition than cars to electrify.

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Smaller electric lorries have gone on sale in the UK, and 20 are taking part in Department for Transport trials with the NHS and local authorities. The DfT has also commissioned a study into using railway-style overhead electric cables to power HGVs on motorways.

Britain became the first country to commit to making all new goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under zero-emission by 2035 at the Cop26 climate summit last month. The largest HGVs will not need to be zero emission until 2040, a decade later than the UK’s target date for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Its freight partner, FSEW, said it planned to create a low-carbon fuel hub in Cardiff, with more trucks also running on renewable biomethane fuel.

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