Tesco has added two fully electric articulated HGVs to its fleet to transport food and other products 30 miles from the Wentloog rail terminal outside Cardiff to Tesco’s distribution centre in Magor in Wales.

The two new 37-tonne DAF electric vehicles which will cut 87.4 tonnes of CO2e per year, will power up at charging points installed at the retailer’s site in Cardiff, providing enough energy to charge each vehicle for a range of 100 miles.

Up to 48 cages of goods, made up of predominantly non-chilled food and clothing, will be transported per load

Tesco is working in partnership with logistics and international freight forwarding company FSEW on the pilot scheme, which will gather information on the potential and range of these lorries for use throughout the UK and elsewhere in Tesco’s fleet.

FSEW will own and operate the charging infrastructure to support this, and manage the goods arriving by rail to Cardiff on behalf of Tesco.

In a statement, Tesco said that the two vehicles are the first electric HGVs to be in commercial use in the UK. The retailer said it hopes the service will drive wider investment in technology and innovation to support the haulage sector’s efforts to reduce emissions and air pollution.

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This latest development is part of a wider strategy to achieve net zero emissions in Tesco’s operations by 2035.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “Tesco’s distribution network is one of the largest in the UK and plays an important role in our efforts to become net zero in our own operations by 2035.

“We’ve already made progress by starting our switch to electric home delivery vans and rolling out electric vehicles charging points for our customers. I’m excited that Tesco can also lead the way in electric haulage innovation, helping to tackle this last source of road transport emissions with the support of FSEW.”

Jason Watts, distribution centre manager at Tesco’s Magor DC, said: “We all want to do what we can for the environment so we’re proud that Magor and Wales was chosen to be the first location to use these zero emissions lorries. It’s always exciting to get new kit and we can’t wait to try these lorries out in our busy operation.”

Geoff Tomlinson, FSEW MD, said: “This is a landmark day for us here at FSEW, representing a major step forward in our commitment to providing zero emissions transport freight services. Together we are working to create a cleaner and greener logistics experience. This is transformational for the UK’s commercial and retail industries and is just the start of our work to supply electric heavy freight vehicles to customers such as Tesco.

“Setting the industry standard is important to us which is why we also have plans underway to create an eFreight hub in Cardiff which will include a low carbon fuel facility for the use of all freight providers and commercial and municipal operators and are also launching this month two further trucks running on 100% renewable biomethane fuel for freight transport use.”