In a push to the road-to-zero commitment, Family-owned Fox Group introduced two new electric tipper trucks to its fleet.
Fox is the first company to introduce electric tipper trucks in the UK as it transitions from diesel to battery electric heavy vehicles. The pair, Volvo FE Electric tippers, will operate from the company’s depot on the Enterprise Business Park in Leyland, where charging infrastructure has been installed to support both the trucks and staff cars, it said.
Volvo Trucks and supplying dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials worked with Fox Group to determine the optimal specification for the vehicles, using the manufacturer’s Electric Range Simulator – which considers multiple factors about a customer’s operation, including payload, routes, driving hours and charging infrastructure.
“This purchase marks the start of the electrification of our fleet,” Paul Fox, Managing Director of the Blackpool-based business, said. The company will make more of its fleet electric in the future, he said, adding that the construction sector needs to join the drive to reduce carbon emissions.
Both Volvo FE Electric 6×2 rigids are plated at 27-tonnes – one tonne more than a standard three-axle rigid – which helps to offset the additional weight of the batteries, the company said. They will operate primarily on local contracts for customers such as Lancashire County Council.
The two trucks feature a day cab, full air suspension and a hydraulically steered rear axle for exceptional manoeuvrability, more suitable for operations in urban areas. They offer a range of around 150 km (94 miles) on a full charge from their four battery packs, taking into account PTO usage – making them ideal for Fox Group’s local work, the company said.
The FE Electric powertrain consists of two electric motors and a two-speed gearbox, with power being generated by an electric motor with an output of 400 kW. The trucks can use different drive modes to help set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.
Fox Group currently operates from 20 locations nationally, specialising in the supply and haulage of aggregates, recycled materials, muck-shift, earthworks, and civil engineering projects. It has a fleet of more than 270 vehicles, consisting of six- and eight-wheel tippers, artics, low loaders and road sweepers.