Builders' merchant group Travis Perkins is to take delivery of a new all-electric 26-tonne truck by the end of the year.

Speaking at the fourth annual LoCITY clean air and sustainability conference at the Oval in London on 25 September, TP fleet compliance and road risk manager Alan Harvey confirmed the vehicle would be a first for the UK builders' merchant industry.

The truck, featuring a mounted crane, is based on the Mercedes Econic ‘glider’ chassis, cab and front axles and can travel for 250 miles per charge.

The group hopes savings will amount to 67 tonnes of CO2 and 542kg of NOX.

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The vehicle will also offer a significant noise reduction. The average HGV is running at around 67db, Harvey said, whereas the new electric truck comes in at ony 50db.

However, he admitted the new vehicle would add extra cost to the business.

“It doesn’t come cheap," he said. "While the vehicle delivers great environmental savings, the financial case for all electric HGVs requires additional investment from manufacturers to reduce the overall cost.

"It’s currently costing us £33k per annum whereas the all-electric comes in £47.2 per annum, which is an additional £14.2k a year. But we wanted to introduce a zero or as near as we could carbon-free vehicle and the business has backed this innovation which is fantastic, particularly in the current trading climate."