Europa Road trials first EV for UK fleet

Europa Road is trialling its first Electric Vehicle (EV) on its UK domestic distribution fleet, marking the next step in the company’s decarbonisation journey.

The trial, arranged by contract hire company Vertellus and its partner RH Commercial Vehicles, will provide Europa with valuable insight on making its future fleets more sustainable.

The move comes at a time when the International Energy Agency (IEA) is calling for the rapid deployment of electric trucks, needed to meet its Net Zero Ambitions Scenario by 2050.

Europa said it is the first to trial the Vertellus EV Discovery Programme, which aims to actively support customers’ low carbon agenda and provide a full in-life support service for all electric trucks.

The programme also intends to provide continual support for fleets that are gradually transitioning to sustainably fuelled vehicles. The business needs and sustainability goals are identified and matched with the appropriate transition plan which includes vehicles, charging facilities and a wraparound care service.

Europa Road has also taken delivery of a Renault Trucks E-Tech 18-tonne vehicle.

Acquisition of this truck follows recent significant upgrades to Europa’s fleet with top spec Renault Trucks T tractor units with improved comfort credentials for drivers, according to the company.

The company will trial the EV from its £30 million (€28 million) state-of-the-art groupage 1Hub in Dartford. It will travel domestically, across Europa’s expanding UK network.

Dan Cook, operations director at Europa Worldwide Group, said: “It’s been highlighted by the World Economic Forum that shipment transportation accounts for 24% of net carbon emissions and it has therefore been a long-held ambition of Europa’s to adopt technologies that will help reduce our carbon emissions.

“Europa Road’s participation in Vertellus’ EV Discovery Programme marks the start of our transition to becoming a more sustainable logistics operator. The ‘try-before-you-buy’ programme gives us an opportunity to explore the strengths and limits of this technology, identifying where it can be most useful to us and will also provide us with knowledge on how we can adopt similar technologies into our future fleets, both domestic and international.”

Nigel Baxter, managing director at Vertellus, said: “Compared to diesel vehicles, there is a lot more to think about with EV contract hire. The purpose of the Discovery Programme is to remove the complexity and hassle out of the energy transition, so operators like Europa Road can accelerate the process of reducing their carbon footprints.

“We realise the introduction of EVs into fleets is a huge investment for operators, particularly for industry-leading Europa Road. Vertellus, with the support of trusted Renault dealership RH Commercial Vehicles, is providing Europa with the opportunity to try out EVs, testing the technology in their own day-to-day environment, before undertaking further investment.

“While the transition to EVs will likely occur in stages, it’s collaborations with forward-thinkers like Europa that will set a precedent for future acceleration of sustainable freight travel.”