Tesco launching UK’s first commercial electric heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks

Tesco is launching the UK’s first commercially used fully electric heavy-duty freight articulated (tractor-trailer as opposed to rigid) trucks. Two new 37 tonne DAF CF Electric trucks will transport food and other products from Wentloog rail terminal outside Cardiff to Tesco’s distribution center in Magor, Wales, in partnership with logistics and international freight forwarding company FSEW. The tractor configuration of the DAF CF Electric features a VDL 210 kW nominal / 240 kW (peak) motor that delivers 2,000 N.m of torque and a 350 kWh (315 kWh effective) battery pack that supports a range of up to 220 km / 137 miles and can fast charge at 250 kW.

381A111A-B598-47C9-B793-AE0EDAE397EC
These first two trucks will replace around 65,000 diesel-fueled road miles, removing 87.4 tonnes of CO2e per year. To power the new service, FSEW has installed charging points at its site in South Wales that provide enough energy to power these large vehicles for 100 miles before needing to charge again.

FSEW will own and operate the charging infrastructure, and manage the goods arriving by rail to Cardiff on behalf of Tesco. Up to 48 cages of goods, made up of predominantly non-chilled food and clothing, will be transported per load. At around 30 miles each way, the Wentloog – Magor journey is an ideal location to understand the potential and range of these trucks for use throughout the UK and elsewhere in Tesco’s fleet.

By demonstrating that electric HGV transportation is commercially viable, this service will contribute to encouraging wider investment in technology and innovation that will support the haulage sector’s efforts to reduce emissions and air pollution. It will also contribute to Tesco’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions in its own operations by 2035, and FSEW’s work to replace more than 40 diesel vehicles with low-carbon alternatives and switch to fleet-wide zero-emissions transport operations by 2025. Heavy goods vehicles make up around 16% of the UK’s domestic transport emissions; addressing this can play a significant role in delivering the UK’s net zero ambitions.

FSEW is a logistics and international freight forwarding company which also counts Hoover Candy, Amazon, and Ford amongst its customers.