With over 2,100 commercial vehicles on their fleet, there is quite a way for Tesco to go to reach their net zero by 2035. The company has made a start with the addition of a new Volvo FM Electric 4×2 tractor unit. The truck’s arrival marks the first zero tailpipe emission 40-tonne electric Volvo model to be delivered into service with a UK supermarket.

Supplied by Jose Lavarello, Key Account Manager for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, the new FM Electric with Globetrotter cab meets the Direct Vision Standard three-star rating and will operate with various trailer types and lengths. It will be used to deliver goods to stores across Greater London, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, hauling ambient grocery items seven days a week.

Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, says: “Our new Volvo FM Electric is the perfect solution for performing high-capacity grocery deliveries with less environmental impact, and it’s fantastic to see the first example enter service with Tesco. This model is ideal for supermarket fleets wanting to transition to battery electric trucks, and we’re very confident it’s going to generate a lot of interest on the road.”

Electric Truck – Automatic Transmission

The FM Electric is powered by three electrical motors, generating 2,400 Nm of continuous torque. These motors are paired with Volvo’s I-Shift gearbox, which delivers a smooth and ultra-quiet driving experience by constantly evaluating information about speed, weight, road grade and torque demand.

This power is managed by an onboard electromobility traction control system which helps manage output on slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

Cliff Smith, Tesco’s Fleet Engineering Manager, says: “The arrival of this fully electric 40-tonne Volvo tractor unit is a first for Tesco and another exciting milestone for our delivery fleet, which directly supports our ambitious sustainability targets.”

Commenting on the suitability of the FM Electric for Tesco’s store deliveries in the South East, he adds: “We don’t allocate vehicles to specific routes, so it is imperative any new truck can immediately slot into our workflow and tackle any assignment effectively. We’re confident the FM Electric will do just that, making a seamless transition into our day-to-day operations.”

The truck is backed with a five-year Volvo Gold Contract covering all maintenance and repairs, and including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components, to guarantee Tesco maximum uptime.

Volvo FM Electric Tesco
The FM has a range of approximately 300km and a charging time of 2.5 hours with a 250kW DC charger, or 9.5 hours on a 43 kW AC charger

No Range Anxiety

Equipped with the maximum six batteries, it offers a range of approximately 300km and will primarily be charged on site in Thurrock. It has a charging time of just 2.5 hours with a 250kW DC charger, or 9.5 hours on a 43 kW AC charger. The battery can also be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity mid-shift, in just the same way as a smartphone, because the charger slows down towards the end of the process to protect the battery cells.

Smith adds: “Jose and his team have gone above and beyond, working closely with us to make sure this first FM Electric fully meets our needs.

“It’s without doubt the cleanest, greenest and quietest tractor unit we have on the fleet, and it comes backed by a whole suite of connected services to make the transition to electric vehicles easier, including live positioning with real-time energy status.”