Volvo FM Electric Helps Haulier Turn New Page for CPI Books

R Swain and Sons has put a new Volvo FM Electric 4×2 tractor unit into operation, working exclusively on its contract with CPI Books.

The order was placed following a detailed review by the business – part of the wider Swain Group – to identify where electric trucks can be introduced into its fleet, to help customers reduce their C02 emissions and improve the sustainability of their operations.

James Wyatt, Group Operations Director, The Swain Group, says: “Volvo Trucks invited us to Sweden for a presentation of its electric technology and we were very impressed. Where there is the opportunity to provide these new technologies, we are very open and willing to do that.

“Electric trucks are here now and can work, commercially, very well on certain applications. We’ve worked closely with CPI and Volvo to get this electric tractor unit into operation, and it has been a huge success.”

R Swain and Sons supplies CPI with a transport and delivery solution for 120,000 tonnes of printed materials annually. As the UK’s largest book printing service provider, CPI is acutely aware of its impact on the environment and has been working hard towards its Net Zero journey in collaboration with the logistics provider for the past three years.

Cameron Macaulay, Operations Director at CPI Books Chatham, says: “Our investment in this fully electric tractor unit underscores our dedication to sustainability and reinforces our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.”

The FM Electric was supplied by Steve Moon, Truck Sales Director at MC Truck & Bus, and works out of CPI’s depot in Lordswood, in Kent, covering approximately 100 miles per day across the south east, before returning to base to charge overnight on a newly-installed 43kW AC charger.

The electric supply comes from 100 per cent renewable energy at CPI’s base – which is detailed in the eye-catching white and green livery across the tractor unit and the curtainsider trailers it is paired with. Replacing a diesel truck in the firm’s delivery fleet, it is projected to save approximately 75 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Powered by three electrical motors which generate 666 hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, the FM Electric is equipped with the maximum six batteries. An onboard electromobility traction control system helps manage output on slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

Volvo’s standard I-Shift gearbox delivers a smooth and ultra-quiet driving experience by constantly evaluating information about speed, weight, road grade and torque demand.

“The driver absolutely loves it. He said it was like driving a Rolls Royce!” adds David Emslie, Group Sales Director, The Swain Group. “The support and guidance we have had from the team at Volvo and MC Truck & Bus has been first-class. We have another FM Electric working for Maersk as part of our container distribution division and we are excited to add more electric trucks across the group in the future.”

Supplied via a five-year agreement from Volvo Financial Services, the FM is backed by a full Volvo Gold contract which guarantees maximum uptime and covers all maintenance and repairs, including proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

R Swain & Sons is part of the Swain Group, one of the UK’s most prominent logistics service providers. With a fleet of more than 400 vehicles, and the largest flatbed trailer fleet in the country, the business delivers varied trailer configurations and services throughout the UK and into Europe.