Linfox takes charge with its first refrigerated EV

Only the second truck of its kind on Australian roads, the Volvo FL Electric has also become the first electric vehicle to join Linfox’s refrigerated fleet.

The truck has joined the Woolworths Group’s fleet and will be used to deliver fresh produce from the Melbourne fresh food distribution centre operated by the Woolworths Group’s supply chain arm Primary Connect, to stores across metropolitan Melbourne.

There are now 75 Volvo FL Electrics released globally. Linfox’s new addition is the first Volvo FL electric vehicle in Australia to be fitted with refrigeration.

Capable of carrying eight pallets of produce at a time, the Volvo FL Electric uses four batteries to achieve an energy capacity of 200 kWh. However with the ongoing battery development, future iterations will feature a capacity of 265kWh.

The electric driveline provides 425Nm of torque which is delivered to the rear wheels via a two-speed automated transmission.

Like it’s diesel-powered counterparts the Electric FL maintains a full suite of active safety systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking. The Electric FL also achieves the rigorous Swedish BOF10 crash rating which surpasses current European standards.

Acting managing director of Primary Connect and chief supply chain officer of Woolworths Group, Chris Brooks said, “From the products in our supermarkets to the trucks that deliver them, we know the changes we make to become more sustainable today will create a better tomorrow for generations to come.

“Linfox has been with us on our journey of electric vehicles since 2018 and we share a commitment to sustainability.

“We’re excited to deepen our investment in electric vehicles in partnership with Linfox, as we pave the way for a greener next-generation supply chain. We supply more than 1000 supermarkets across the country, and the ongoing development of heavy electric trucks represents an opportunity for us to drive positive change on Australia’s roads.

“We will be watching the results of this trial closely with Linfox to understand how electric trucks can support our shift to a low carbon future in the years ahead.”

The environmentally friendly EV has no carbon emissions, unlike diesel-powered trucks. It also has ‘regen’ capability which means every time it travels downhill or brakes, the battery can recharge.

A charging station at the Melbourne Fresh DC will boost the battery while deliveries are unloaded. The EV can travel up to 200km before needing to be recharged and takes nine hours to fully recharge.

Launched in 2020, Linfox’s ‘Leading the Way 2025’ business strategy identifies ‘act sustainably’ as a key strategic driver. Linfox’s GreenFox sustainability program targets cleaner transport and mitigation of diesel emissions amongst other important sustainability initiatives.

“In 2007, Linfox set out to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half and we did that,” said Linfox executive chairman Peter Fox.

“Today we are not just interested in making our own business practices greener, we are committed to helping our customers act sustainably too. Linfox is proud to lead the way in the adoption of electric vehicles as we strive to meet our zero emission targets and support our customers to do the same.

“With shared values, environmental considerations are at the top of Linfox, Woolworths and Volvo’s agendas. It is partnerships like this that can drive big change,” Fox said.

Volvo Group Australia’s vice president, technology business development, Paull Illmer also pointed out the value of close stakeholder relationships as EV infrastructure develops and matures.

“Partnership is indeed the new leadership as mobility around the world continues to transform, and partnering with businesses like Linfox and Woolworths, who share our values and vision, will ensure our ambition to implement emissions free transport solutions are in good hands,” he said.

President and CEO at Volvo Group Australia, Martin Merrick, added, “Volvo Group recently unveiled a vision of a carbon free future and we are proud to be playing our part in making the first steps towards achieving that goal here in Australia with these trial vehicles.”

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