There are a lot of exciting developments in the electric car industry, with record market shares in terms of electric car sales now being reported regularly in many countries around the world. Another sector that is also now starting to see some traction is the heavy electric truck sector. Heavy trucks are used for several applications that are just perfect for electrification due to the nature of their operations. For example, trucks in the construction sector or in campus-based sectors such as in mining environments usually have to drive for short distances at well-known intervals. Managing the fleet for things like charging and installation of charging stations at depots or on site in campus-based environments also becomes quite straightforward.
Some of these trucks are built for specific applications, such as tippers, mixers, and cranes. Concrete mixers are a large segment and an important pillar of the construction industry. By using electric trucks, companies can now meet the increasing demand for vehicles with lower noise levels and zero exhaust emissions at and around urban construction sites. The demand for electric transport in the construction industry is also increasing given the emphasis on zero-emission zones in cities and the need for construction companies to meet climate goals as part of their broader ESG targets.
In an exciting development announced earlier this year, the UK’s first all-electric ready-mix concrete mixer has successfully completed a three-month trial of commercial deliveries across Birmingham for Tarmac, marking a significant step on the path to net zero construction. In another exciting development, Aggregate Industries goes the green mile with London’s first electric concrete mixer.
The state-of-the-art 26-tonne electric concrete mixer will serve the business’ busy London Concrete arm, supplying essential ready-mix concrete materials across the Capital. Expected to be put to immediate use, the custom-built Renault Trucks vehicle will constitute the second operational electric mixer truck in the UK, and the first of its kind operating in London.
The launch is the result of a partnership between Aggregate Industries, Renault Trucks, and McPhee Mixers (part of TVS Interfleet) based in Motherwell, Scotland, which was responsible for building the electric mixer. The introduction of the truck is the latest step in Aggregate Industries’ transition to a sustainable future.
It also features a fully integrated and state-of-the-art DVS compliant connected camera and safety system, which was developed and installed by Fleet Focus.
Ideally placed to leverage London’s low and ultra-low emissions zones, the Renault Trucks E-Tech D Wide will have zero-emissions and a battery life of up to 10 hours.
For the ultimate in green concrete supply, it will be used to deliver Aggregate Industries’ innovative ECOPact range of green concrete solutions that offer up to 70% carbon reductions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete, and Dynamax, a high performance concrete which enables eco-balance via reduced material requirement.
This latest activity follows in Aggregate Industries’ bold 2030 Sustainability and Net Zero Strategies, which set a number of ambitious goals to accelerate the business’ transition to net zero and lead construction’s pathway to a sustainable future. As part of this, the business has committed to upgrading its 2,000-strong fleet of corporate cars and vans to electric vehicles (EV) by 2030.
Kirstin McCarthy, Sustainability Director at Aggregate Industries, comments: “Our distribution network is one of the largest in UK construction and will play an important focus in our efforts toward net zero. I’m therefore incredibly excited that we are able to lead the way in electric concrete mixer innovation and distribute our green construction solutions to customers across the Capital with virtually zero footprint.”
She adds: “As we look to the future, the global transition to EVs will play a central role in the world’s wider decarbonisation aims and is something which must happen in construction at pace. In this vein, this launch marks just the first start of our transformational journey to supply sustainable construction materials to customers via the greenest means possible.”
Daniel King, Director of London Concrete, said: “Sustainability is an increasingly important specification consideration for our customers who want to know about how the product was made, where its lifecycle value and carbon footprint. Having this truck is a crucial next step in this, enabling us to distribute to customers all across London with the absolutely minimum environmental impact. We are incredibly proud to have been chosen to deploy this zero emission mixer for the first time and can’t wait to try it out in our busy operation.”
Andrew Scott, Head of Electric Mobility and Product development for Renault Trucks, continues: “The benefits of a fully electric concrete mixer are greatest in our cities, so Renault Trucks are delighted that London Concrete is bringing the benefits of reduced noise and reduced emissions to the Capital. We’re sure that this will soon set a new standard and level of expectation for London’s concrete supply and welcome Aggregate Industries’ ambition to build towards a net zero future.”
Kevin Walker, Technical Director at TVS Interfleet, adds: “The e-mixer is a great example of the level of innovation that can be achieved through collaborative working, with the result being a vehicle that features no less than seven new patents. The e-mixer not only plays a vital role in the decarbonisation of the construction sector, but new features also increase safety and lowers noise output on busy sites.
“It is the second e-mixer to successfully roll off our production line and the first to operate in the South of England. We’re looking forward to seeing it operating in the heart of London.”
This is another exciting partnership for the electric heavy trucks sector. Recently, the Swedish mining group Boliden partnered with Volvo Trucks and will be one of the first in the world to start using battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transport starting this year. Exhaust gases from diesel vehicles are responsible for the majority of the carbon dioxide emissions from Boliden’s mines, as is the case in the mining sector in general. Boliden is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and therefore the electrification of transport will play a critical role for Boliden to achieve its climate goals. The new cooperation agreement between Boliden and Volvo Trucks will start with two heavy electric Volvo trucks which will be used in Boliden’s Kankberg mine, outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden.
Images courtesy of Aggregate Industries
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