Electric vehicle, New trucks, News

Followmont takes delivery of first electric prime mover


A calculated gamble almost two years ago has paid off for Followmont Transport with the company taking delivery of the first Volvo electric prime mover in Brisbane last night.

When Followmont boss Mark Tobin first ordered the FH Electric on April 22, 2022, it was still illegal to drive vehicles of that type in Queensland because of the heavier axle weights.

But with an announcement imminent from the Queensland government about the passing of laws to allow heavier axle weights – one of the many impediments to electric vehicles’ uptake until now – the timing of the event couldn’t have been better.

“One thing Followmont is committed to, it doesn’t matter whether it’s trucks, or it’s when we do our buildings, but every time we touch something, it’s about the future, and I think that’s what life’s about,” Tobin said.

“We’ve got to build for the future, and our kids are the future. Innovation in any business is what’s going to make a difference.

“It’s not about whether you’re making money, it’s about creating a better future for the next generation.”

Tobin said he was “never scared” to make the leap into electric vehicles because of the long-standing relationship and trust the business had built up with Volvo over the years.

“We’ve got to think about sustainability, we’ve got to take it seriously and that’s what this is about.

“This is a journey and we wanted to be first, not last. If anybody has a fleet, and a large fleet, you need to take this seriously because you won’t be here in the future if you don’t.

“Ben and I are 100 per cent committed with our Followmont team. We’ll continue buying them [electric trucks] and we’ll continue to do business with the Volvo Group.”

Tobin said the electric prime mover will start running as a single trailer combination in a couple of months.

Speaking at the historic handover, Martin Merrick, president Volvo Group Australia, said he was thrilled to hand the keys over for the company’s first electric prime mover to Followmont.

“We see partnership as the new leadership, and before Mark or Ben knew this truck could operate legally, they put their hand up and took the leap of faith to say they’re on board, we’ll do it together,” Merrick said.

“We really appreciate the partnership that we’ve had with Followmont Transport for many years and we are really looking forward to the future.

“What we are seeing today is a major step on our journey toward fossil-free transport solutions by 2040.”

Martin Merrick, right, hands Mark Tobin the keys to the first electric prime mover. Image: Peter Hockings

Merrick also reiterated Volvo’s commitment to build BEVs at the Wacol HQ in Queensland.

“We build Volvo and Mack trucks here that you don’t see anywhere else in the world. We have 60 local engineers who work with customers and industry and design and build trucks that proudly wear that beautiful golden logo, Made in Australia.”

Merrick also thanked the Queensland government, the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Sal Petroccitto, the NHVR CEO, for their part in the passing of legislation changes that will now make it possible for the FH Electric, and other BEVs, to operate on Queensland roads.

“That’s one step, but we really need to support the whole industry with incentives to accelerate the adoption rate of battery electric vehicles, in conjunction with our fantastic internal combustion engines that are super efficient and low CO2, and then we’re on the journey,” Merrick added.

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