First electric truck joins Knowles fleet

Source: Knowles

Knowles Transport – which works with Princes, Nestle Purina, Silver Spoon, Mars, Bidfood, Tesco, Sainsburys and John West – has purchased an electric truck, becoming one of the first UK hauliers to do so.

The Volvo FE Electric is now making local deliveries and collections for the Cambridgeshire-based third-party logistics firm, following a successful three-week trial.

The trial aimed to gauge driver sentiment on the 19-tonne vehicles and alleviate concerns about range.

Knowles has also invested in a 150kWh supercharger that is capable of charging the vehicle within two hours.

“This is Knowles putting our money where our mouth is,” said Alex Knowles, MD of Knowles Transport. “There are plenty out there marketing their sustainability credentials without backing it up with investment. Knowles is not one of them.”

Due to its relatively small size, the truck will be run on local services. The company said its short wheelbase and “nimble handling” made it ideal for urban environments.

“The 200km range of the vehicle makes it limited in its long-range capabilities. However, it proves ideal for collection and delivery within the region where it will be applied,” Alex Knowles added.

Knowles invests in 150kWh supercharger that is capable of charging the vehicle within two hours.

Source: Knowles

“Our investment in a 150kWh charging unit on the site at which this vehicle is based allows us to charge the vehicle in two hours, making this operable over two shifts if required,” he said.

The company said its electric truck would be “the first of many”.

Knowles is working towards net zero operations, and has made “significant inroads” to achieving this.

It recently ran a trial of an aerodynamic vehicle roof deflector that improves airflow and reduces drag, therefore minimising emissions. About 5% of its fleet was involved in the trial. It is also using alternative fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). Further, 80% of Knowles’ warehouse equipment is now electric powered – with a target of converting its entire material handling fleet to electric by 2027.

“As the need to become more environmentally conscious has increased over the past decade, sustainability has been core value for the business driving procurement and operational decision making,” Knowles said.