Boortmalt and Bartrums embark upon greener future with Volvo FH Electric

Boortmalt, a Bury St. Edmunds-based malt firm in the UK, has welcomed a new 44-tonne Volvo FH Electric 6×2 tractor unit into its busy fleet – the first heavy-duty electric truck to be deployed in East Anglia.

Supplied by Alan Didwell, key account sales manager at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East, the vehicle joins Boortmalt’s operation via its logistics partner Bartrums. The new unit is projected to yield immediate sustainability benefits, with the truck arriving as a direct replacement for a diesel model on the fleet.

Tremayne Johnson, operations director at Bartrums, says: “The arrival of this fully electric Volvo FH is a significant milestone and is also one of the very first electric articulated bulk vehicles in the UK. This is a flagship project both for Bartrums and Boortmalt. The rig will be a spectacular and unmistakable sight on the roads and I’m in no doubt it will significantly raise the sustainability profile of Boortmalt in the UK.”

Peter Nallen, Boortmalt’s managing director UK & Ireland, adds: “We will continue to strive for lower carbon deliveries of barley and malt as well as ensuring we decarbonise all our malting plants in line with our ambitious sustainability commitments, including a 50 per cent reduction in our carbon footprint by 2030. We are also developing plans to be carbon neutral in the future.”

Equipped with six batteries, the FH Electric offers an approximate range of 200 miles and can be recharged in just 2.5 hours using a 150kW DC charger. To boost the vehicle’s green capabilities even further, its on-site charger will be powered using excess electricity generated by Boortmalt’s Combined Heat and Power plant – which uses natural gas – located at the facility.

The unit is driven via three electric motors, capable of generating 666 hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque. Just as with customers ordering diesel Volvo FH trucks, the FH Electric uses the standard I-Shift gearbox, which works to deliver a smooth and comfortable driving experience.

In addition, the trucks’ power is handled by a unique traction control system developed to master even slippery surfaces, with different drive modes available to allow the driver to fine-tune their desired performance, comfort and energy usage levels accordingly.

Full air suspension is available, with the vehicle’s Globetrotter cab also equipped with a Media Pack with navigation, as well as dual armrests, and a suspended driver’s seat with lumbar support.

The presence of additional safety features such as Volvo’s Electronic Stability Control reduces the risk of skidding and rollovers, while Forward Collision Warning with Adaptive Cruise Control and advanced emergency braking and Lane Departure Warning systems deliver a thorough active safety setup.

Boortmalt’s FH Electric is backed by a four-year Volvo Gold Contract which covers all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

The truck – which will be paired with a STAS tipping trailer – is expected to cover up to 80,000 km annually, predominately delivering Boortmalt’s products to its customers based across East Anglia – including Greene King – before bringing barley back to site from Boortmalt’s network of suppliers and stores.