Food and drink distributor upgrades fleet with electric trucks

Food and drink distributor upgrades fleet with electric trucks

Food and drink company A.F. Blakemore & Son, one of the UKs leading family owned businesses have taken delivery of two custom-built Volvo electric trucks as part of a multiple vehicle order with Hartshorne Group.

The company which operates across the foodservice, wholesale and retail sectors will use the vehicles to supply their SPAR retail estate across the Midlands and Wales with the state-of-the-art trucks playing an important role in its on-going environmental strategy.

The first of the vehicles, which are custom configured to meet the needs of the company, were recently delivered to A.F. Blakemore’s depot in Willenhall, West Midlands. The order follows an extensive trial of the new Volvo FM Electric vehicle, a heavy-duty truck that can be optimised for high-capacity grocery deliveries with low emissions and low noise levels.

Dave Higgs, Compliance Manager from A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the Hartshorne Group and Volvo Trucks, and we have chosen the new Volvo FM Electric tractor units to continue our progress with our current and future environmental strategy.

“We tried an Electric FM tractor unit demo in 2023 which proved that it was possible for us to run these vehicles operationally in our fleet. The continued support, knowledge and expertise from Hartshorne Group Fleet Sales & E-Mobility Manager, Jack Hulse has helped and guided us through the transition in implementing these vehicles into our fleet.”

The first of the trucks are now operational, with further electric vehicles due to be delivered at a later date by Hartshorne, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles throughout the Midlands.

James Cowen, Managing Director at Hartshorne, said: “The Hartshorne Group have been supplying Volvo Trucks to A.F. Blakemore & Son for nearly 40 years, a deep, rich and valued relationship which I am very proud to be a part of. It is a privilege to be alongside them as they embark on their next chapter of their sustainability journey and electrification of the fleet.”

“In choosing the electric route, A.F. Blakemore have taken charge of the change towards a more sustainable future for the next generation. Throughout the trial period our Volvo electric truck demonstrator fitted seamlessly into the operation, with fantastic driver feedback. We are truly grateful for the order.”

Jack Hulse, Fleet Sales Manager at Hartshorne, adds: “The new Volvo FM Electric tractor units, are equipped with 6 traction batteries which equate to a total battery capacity of 540kWh of energy. Coupled with our 3 Electric motors enables the vehicles to produce an equivalent of 666bhp (490kw) giving operators no compromise on performance.”

“Not only have the vehicles got fantastic environmental benefits, but also improve all round safety for vulnerable road users as they meet the New General Safety Regulations requirements. This includes features such as the Side Collision Avoidance Support, Pilot Assist, Moving Off Information System and host of other features. Furthermore, the vehicles have a 3 Star London Direct Vision Standards rating to improve the overall visibility for the driver.”

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