All-new electric timber truck hits the roads in the Scottish Highlands in a three-year trial

  • Pioneering electric timber truck in the Highlands aims to reduce carbon footprint in forestry transport.
  • Three-year trial, backed by £452,000 from Scottish Forestry, tests Europe’s first Volvo electric truck.
  • Knowledge-sharing and commitment to sustainability mark the trial, showcasing a shift towards greener timber transport.

A pioneering electric timber truck spearheads decarbonisation in the UK’s forestry sector

The 44-tonne electric wagon arrived at Scotlog Sales Ltd in Inverness. This truck is a game-changer, engaged in a three-year trial focused on slashing emissions in timber transport.

The Volvo truck is the first of its kind in Europe. It boasts a specialized Metsatek timber body and Ecco bolsters. Operating for six weeks now, the electric wagon has been transporting timber from the west coast to the West Fraser site at Dalcross, starting its journey at the Port of Inverness.

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Scottish Forestry is investing £452,000 in this ambitious trial. Therefore, they’re partnering with key players such as Scotlog Sales Ltd, James Jones & Sons, the Volvo Group, and Cleaner EV. The aim is clear – test and evaluate the performance of two cutting-edge electric vehicles over the three-year period.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Around 7 million tonnes of wood are harvested from Scotland’s forests each year and transported to sawmills, board manufacturers and other processors, mostly on 44 tonne diesel lorries.

The forestry sector is keen to use modern technology to tackle timber transport issues as part of its overall efforts to decarbonise and reach Net Zero.

I’m pleased that this second truck is now working in the Highlands and look forward to hearing more about this innovative trial and how it can help cut transport emissions.”

Neil Stoddart, Director of Creel Maritime Ltd, is managing the project with his team and added:

“In terms of road haulage, the timber industry is pretty advanced in looking for solutions to decarbonise. For example, we are reducing diesel lorry miles on many projects and opting for transport by sea.

This is a very exciting project but there are big challenges in running HGV lorries on electric power, mainly on cost grounds and infrastructure. This three year trial will look into all these aspects and I’m keen to share as much detail on this with the industry. So far both trucks are matching expectations both in terms of commercial performance and driver operation.”

As the timber industry actively seeks solutions for decarbonization, this three-year trial is a beacon of progress. The Woodland Creation Summit in Perthshire, where leaders gather, will further explore opportunities for expanding Scotland’s woodland creation rates. The electric timber truck is another example of the dexterity of Volvo’s electric truck offerings. It also highlights that there are no jobs that petrol trucks can do, and electric trucks can’t.

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