Dubai is set to welcome a groundbreaking addition to its bustling roads: the first heavy-duty, all-electric lorry in the country. This historic unveiling signifies a new chapter in UAE’s transport history, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
Manufactured by Volvo and distributed by FAMCO, part of the Al-Futtaim Group, the first in this eco-friendly fleet is anticipated to hit the roads very soon. The Volvo FH Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks boast a considerable range of 300km per charge and are capable of hauling a hefty load of up to 44 tonnes. Designed primarily for city-to-city haulage, these electric trucks offer a promising alternative to traditional long-haul, fuel-guzzling lorries.
Speaking at the launch in late June, Johan Selven, vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks International, highlighted the potential of these electric lorries in the regional transport sector, “It will be used for regional or city-to-city transport, like going from a hub to a harbour,” he said. “The truck that has been launched tonight is the first of its kind and it has been bought by Unilever. We’ve got a lot of interest from other companies as well to also buy the trucks, transporters in the region are extremely keen”.
One of the standout features of these lorries is their charging capacity. “With the 300km charge, you can get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, for instance. It’s quite a big charge,” explained Selven.
The vehicle is compatible with the widely used Combined Charging System (CCS) electric charger, the most common of its type. Despite the lengthy charging time, users are expected to leave it charging overnight to operate on a fully powered battery the following day.
The unveiling of this all-electric lorry comes on the heels of an announcement by the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, about the introduction of a range of all-electric waste collection vehicles.
“We are taking heavy-duty trucks into the electric dimension, which is something that’s very new here,” said Antoine Barthes, vice president of Al Futtaim Automotive. “It’s going to be a big, big change”.
The global market for electric lorries is on the rise. The International Energy Agency reported that more than 60,000 medium-to-heavy duty electric lorries were sold worldwide in 2022, with China leading the way with about 52,000 of those sales.
The UAE is committed to achieving zero emissions by the year 2050, necessitating a significant shift from petrol and diesel to electric engines.
“This region has traditionally been very dependent on petrol but I believe that era is going to be behind us soon,” said Barthes. “We are going to see more and more electric vehicles on our roads and this is proof of the commitment to make the future greener”.
Ahmed Kadous, Unilever’s Head of Supply Chain MENA & Personal Care Category in the Middle East & Turkey, commented: “We have committed to achieving net zero emissions throughout our value chain by 2039. Logistics will play a crucial role in achieving this ambition as it contributes up to 15% of our emissions. To achieve this, we want to push our business beyond its current limits to see how we can address the current environmental crisis. So, we are pioneering the green transportation movement in the UAE, and this electric truck forms the second addition to our delivery fleet. Earlier in March, we added the first Electric Van (EV) to our UAE delivery fleet, the first in the UAE.”
The introduction of this all-electric lorry is a leap forward towards this objective, demonstrating the UAE’s commitment to sustainable transport solutions and a greener future.