Volvo delivers on Lenham’s electric initiative

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Saturday 16 March 2024

Lenham Storage, the South-East based grocery and FMCG specialist, has put two new battery-electric tractor units into its distribution fleet.

The Volvo FM Electrics are the first zero tailpipe emissions trucks on the fleet, which also includes two gas-powered Volvo trucks, and are tasked with multi-drop deliveries, mainly within the M25.

Trials with a demonstrator prior to the trucks being ordered indicated that the electric vehicles could be integrated into Lenham Storage’s operations.

Transport operations director Andrew Fulcher said: “As a business, we have always tried to be at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies when it comes to greener alternative fuels.

“Many of our customers operate in the food and retail sectors, with ambitious targets in terms of cutting carbon emissions across their supply-chain, which ties in well with our own strategy and ethos.

“The response we’ve had from our drivers has been really positive. One of the guys has been with us for 23 years and he said the main thing he noticed when getting back in a diesel, after a few days driving the electric, was the noise and vibrations. It’s obviously a big change but the electrics are very nice to drive.

“Overall, we’re very happy with how they have settled in. The range is delivering everything we were promised so far, and they are returning to the depot with plenty of life left in the battery. We’re keen to push them even further too with some more general haulage work.”

The FMs – which meet Transport for London’s three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating – work throughout the day before returning to Lenham Storage’s Maidstone depot to charge overnight on a 43kW AC charger. A full Volvo Gold contract guarantees maximum uptime and covers all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

Powered by three electrical motors which generate 666 hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, both of Lenham Storage’s FM Electrics are equipped with the maximum six batteries, offering a range of approximately 300 km. A traction control system helps manage output on slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

Volvo’s standard I-Shift gearbox delivers a smooth and ultra-quiet driving experience by constantly evaluating information about speed, weight, road grade and torque demand.