Electric lorry outside SPAR Shawbirch

Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has been trialling an electric truck at its Willenhall distribution centre for a week.

The trial began on March 15 and involves a 19-tonne Electra e-Cargo refrigerated rigid vehicle which can travel up to 130 miles on a full charge.

It is delivering to Spar retail stores within an 100-mile round trip of the West Midlands depot, where it takes 10 hours to charge.

Dave Higgs, logistics compliance manager at the company, said: “This trial will move AFB a step closer to introducing its first electric HGV, and we are excited to be involved in the drive towards a more sustainable future.

“If the test week is successful, the business will be looking at more suppliers of electric vehicles. We are hoping to do a number of trials over the next five years to understand the potential of electric HGVs and how they could be incorporated into our fleet.”

In January A.F. Blakemore welcomed a new environmental sustainability manager to its Responsible Business team to drive its environmental sustainability strategy forward, and this trial is part of the company’s wider focus on sustainability.

The Government has announced that it will phase out new, non-zero-emission heavy goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035, with all new HGVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040.