Volvo SWA Truck

SWA chief executive Colin Smith said that electric trucks are becoming more viable

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has partnered with Volvo to give members an insight into the electric vehicle and infrastructure market.

It comes as the organisation pursues an ambitious project to decarbonise the Scottish wholesale industry.

The event, which will be held in Linwood, Renfrewshire will allow participants to test drive one of the first electric HGVs available in the UK.

Attendees will also be able to hear speakers from Transport Scotland, Swarco, Volvo trucks, and Scottish Power Energy Networks discussing a range of issues related to decarbonisation within the industry.

Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said: “We’re experiencing considerable interest from members who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and this event will provide an excellent platform for wholesalers to learn more about the technology.”

Last year, the SWA published a report on the decarbonisation of the Scottish wholesale industry in which it described zero emission HGVs and refrigerated trucks as commercially unviable in their current form.

However, according to SWA chief executive Colin Smith, the technology is becoming more advanced and progress with regards to viability is being made.

Whilst 44 tonne electric trucks are likely to remain commercially unviable in the sector for the foreseeable future, the smaller 16.7 tonne trucks available to test drive at the event in Linwood are viable and available for purchase.

Smith said: “The truck at the event is a 17 tonne vehicle, that’s the kind of truck you’ll see in inner city working and deliveries rather than the 44 tonne trucks which run up and down the motorways. It’s quite common within our sector.”

Smith added that the larger 44 tonne trucks are most likely going to be hydrogen powered in the future, with several companies currently working on their development.

The association is aiming to take a leading role in reducing the wholesale industry’s carbon footprint.

Smith said: “As a trade body we’re at the forefront [of decarbonisation], which is why we’re working with companies like Volvo. We’re trying to be the lead body.”

The event, which takes place on 5 April, is free for SWA members and costs £100 for non-members. Registration will close on Tuesday, 29 March.