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First Volvo electric log truck in UK

15 December 2023

New Volvo electric log truck, said to first of its kind in the UK, is now in trial operation in the Scottish Highlands to decarbonize the sector.

A new electric log truck, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK , is now in operation in the Highlands as part of a trial to help decarbonise the sector. Scotlog Sales Ltd of Inverness has taken delivery of the new 44 tonne wagon, which will transport logs shipped in from the west coast to be hauled from the Port of Inverness to the West Fraser site at Dalcross.

The new “wagon and drag” truck – a rigid vehicle and trailer – is part of a three-year trial testing two state-of-the-art electric vehicles to move logs, cutting down on emissions. The Volvo truck is the first of their line to be produced in Europe.

The truck has been in operation for six weeks, firstly working at the Port of Inverness before taking to the roads and becoming a familiar sight on the A96. Scottish Forestry is investing £452,000 towards the trial which is partnering with Scotlog Sales , James Jones & Sons , the Volvo Group and Cleaner EV.

A second electric truck (artic unit) has been in operation in the south of Scotland with forestry business James Jones & Sons . Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Around seven 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 trucks.

“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.”

A key element of the three-year trial is that all the partners involved are committed to sharing their experiences of running the electric trucks with others in the timber and rural haulage sectors. Creel Maritime consultants are working to monitor the use of the trucks and arranging knowledge exchange opportunities over the course of the following three years.

“This is a very exciting project but there are big challenges in running HGV trucks on electric power, mainly on cost grounds and infrastructure” said Neil Stoddart, director of Creel Maritime Ltd . “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.”

Log transport is an integral part of the forestry sector chain and reducing its emissions through technology and different modes of transport is a positive move. The timber supply chain relies on many parts of the forestry sector and creating new woodlands is part and parcel of this effort, ensuring timber is available well into the future.

Leaders from the forestry, rural, environmental and community sectors are to meet in Perthshire next week at the Woodland Creation Summit, which will be chaired by Ms Gougeon. It will look at new opportunities at expanding Scotland’s woodland creation rates, whether it is by new planting or natural regeneration.

Source: Inverness Courier

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