Joseph Parr has taken delivery of a Volvo FM Electric 6×2 rigid, believed to be the first zero-tailpipe heavy-duty truck working for a builders’ merchant in the UK.

The new FM Electric will operate predominantly from the business’ Bradford depot, carrying out back-to-base customer deliveries. It was part funded by a grant from Bradford City Council, which will monitor the truck’s impact closely – via data from Volvo Connect, the manufacturer’s fleet management system – as it tries to drive down carbon emissions in the city’s Clean Air Zone and wider areas.

Michael Beaumont, Joint Managing Director at Joseph Parr (Alco), says: “Regulations across the industry are changing and we want to ensure we are ahead of the curve in terms of new green technologies.

“When the decision was made to go down the electric route, Volvo Trucks was the obvious choice. We had one Volvo on the fleet already and they are clearly leading the way when it comes to electric.”

The new FM Electric will replace a diesel model from a rival manufacturer in the business’ five-strong HGV delivery fleet, offering instant benefits when it comes to driving down the company’s carbon footprint.

Supplied by Jason Robinson, Area Sales Manager at Crossroads Truck and Bus, the new vehicle has a four-battery configuration, ensuring the perfect combination of range and payload capacity for Joseph Parr’s building material supply deliveries.

olvo Builders Merchant crane truck
“Despite the additional weight of the batteries, we actually see a slight payload advantage over the traditional 26-tonne diesel trucks we run.”

Built on a 5,200mm wheelbase, the rear steer tag axle FM Electric – fitted with a Palfinger BM 26 crane – is powered by two electrical motors which generate 450 hp and will operate at a 28-tonnes gross vehicle weight.

Payload Increased

“Despite the additional weight of the batteries, we actually see a slight payload advantage over the traditional 26-tonne diesel trucks we run,” adds Beaumont. “That was an important factor as we are pretty much up to full weight every time our trucks go out.”

A newly-installed 43kW AC charger at the company’s depot will allow the truck to charge overnight before heading out to complete its deliveries the next day. As well as working in Bradford, the business will also use the FM Electric for operations in Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Halifax and Manchester.

The FM Electric is backed by a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract, which will see all maintenance undertaken at the local dealership in Birstall. The contract also guarantees the performance of the traction batteries beyond the two-year warranty that comes with the truck as standard, for customer peace of mind.

The specification includes a day cab, while the truck’s exterior has been enhanced with a striking Naval Blue livery, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, chassis side skirts and two roof amber beacons.

Joseph Parr (Alco) is part of the Joseph Parr Group. Founded in 1883, the company has grown to become one of the largest independent builders’ merchants in the country.