If you are going to dip your metaphorical toe in to the waters of electric tractor units, then putting one on local deliveries with distances of less than 250kms in a day would be most people’s choice. That’s what Staffordshire-based Hawkins Logistics has done with their new electric FM 4×2 tractor units unlikely to clock up more than 60,000 kms a year.

The trucks will be charged overnight at the company’s Fradley depot.

Paul Hawkins, Operations Director, Hawkins Logistics, says: “In line with our commitment to innovation and sustainability, we are thrilled to unveil these Volvo FM Electric trucks, which will replace two existing diesel trucks. This significant investment not only underscores our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint but also empowers us to lead the charge towards a greener and more eco-conscious future for the logistics industry.

“Volvo has been a consistent brand in our fleet ever since the business was founded and they were always going to be our first choice when specifying our first-ever electric tractor units.”

I-Shift Transmission Still Used

The FM Electrics both feature three electrical motors, generating an output of 666hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, paired with a standard I-Shift gearbox to deliver a smooth and ultra-quiet in-cab driving experience.

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

Equipped with the maximum six batteries, Hawkins Logistics’ FM Electrics each offer a range of approximately 300km and can be recharged in just 2.5 hours with a 250kW DC charger, or 9.5 hours on a 43kW AC charger.

Volvo FM Electric Charging
The FM Electric features three electrical motors, generating an output of 666hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, paired with a standard I-Shift gearbox

“Jason and the rest of the Hartshorne team proved an invaluable asset in helping us pinpoint exactly how and where Volvo’s electric technology could work within our fleet,” adds Paul. “We’ve already heard from many of our regular customers who are eager to welcome our new electric tractor units to their sites. We cannot wait to hit the road.”

The FM Electrics have been fitted with full air suspension, Globetrotter cabs, and Alcoa Dura Bright alloy wheels. A Drive++ package also adds dual armrests, leather upholstery and fully electronic air conditioning with sun, mist, air quality sensors and a carbon filter.

To improve safety further, Hawkins Logistics also opted to include Forward Collision Warning with Advanced Emergency Braking in the specification.

Both trucks are fully backed through five-year Volvo Gold Contracts to guarantee maximum uptime. This includes preventative maintenance and repairs, plus the monitoring of key systems including batteries and other critical components.

Founded in 2009, the Hawkins Group operates out of four sites in Rugeley, Fradley and Glasgow. The new FM Electrics join an 82-strong commercial vehicle fleet, of which 40 units are currently Volvo-supplied.