Biffa is to put its first electric skiploader into service, with a new 18-tonne Volvo FE Electric 4×2 rigid on the Isle of Wight.

The arrival of the FE Electric forms part of an order for 104 new Biffa vehicles from Volvo Trucks, being deployed across the UK as part of a major fleet modernisation programme – with all trucks supplied through Abdi Ali, Key Account Manager, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland.

Anthony Holley, Fleet & Facilities Director at Biffa, says: “As a business, we have more than a century’s worth of experience in helping our customers keep their environment clean, and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. Central to this is the transition of our fleet to alternative fuels, and naturally, we wanted to be among the first fleets to gain real-world experience in operating an electric truck.

“The support from Volvo Trucks has been fantastic: they’ve had the answers for us at every stage and the suitability and performance of the FE Electric for this application is already clear to see. It offers significant potential for us, as we look to transition more of the fleet to electric in line with our ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ sustainability strategy.”

The Volvo FE Electric has been mounted with Boughton Engineering skiploader bodywork and is powered by two electric motors, generating a peak torque of 850 Nm and driven by a two-speed transmission. Power is handled by a traction control system developed to master slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

Equipped with four batteries, it offers a range of approximately 190km and can be recharged in just 2.3 hours with the use of a 150kW DC charger. The Biffa team can also take advantage of top-up charges mid-shift, as the battery can be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity.

Hannah Burgess, Director of New Vehicles Sales at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, adds: “The Biffa team have incredibly high standards for what they require from any vehicle entering their fleet, and the FE Electric ticked all the boxes and is ideally suited to this application. It’s great to see another Volvo electric truck entering service with a major fleet.”