Nationwide Platforms has put two Volvo FM Electric 4x2s out to work, in what is thought to be a first for the UK’s powered access sector.

Supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East’s Coventry depot, the FM Electrics will be used to pull step frame trailers transporting hire equipment to and from sites around Birmingham and the North West.

James Clarke, haulage and logistics director at Nationwide Platforms, said: “Sustainability is a key driver for the business, and introducing our first battery electric trucks felt like the right thing to do. Volvo had the product that met our sustainability commitments, and it’s exciting to welcome these new electric models.”

Referring to the suitability of using battery electric power, Clarke added: “We need the electric trucks to cover up to 150 miles each day on the routes they’ll be working, whilst also providing enough power to drive our ancillary equipment.

“They’ve been spec’d to deliver that and more, with a comfortable margin of power in reserve at the end of the day before recharging in our depots overnight. We are confident they will slip into our operation seamlessly, whilst also turning heads out on the road.”

The trucks form part of a larger order, including Volvo FM 8x2 rigids and FM 6x2 tractor units, all powered by Euro-6 diesel engines.

Together, they will serve as replacements for older assets in the company’s 170-strong truck fleet.

“Given the size of vehicles and equipment in fleet, driving sustainability gains has always been easier said than done,” said Clarke.

“Products such as the FM Electric are clearly a step in the right direction for the environment. There is huge potential in transitioning, where possible, to low and zero tailpipe emission heavy trucks and this is a very important step for us.”