Woolworths Group supply chain arm – Primary Connect – has partnered with Linfox to launch a new electric truck on Melbourne’s roads.
Deployed to deliver fresh produce to Woolworths supermarkets, the refrigerated Volvo FL Electric vehicle is the third electric vehicle (EV) to join Primary Connect’s fleet.
The newest addition to the fleet is one of only two of its kind currently operating in Australia.
Primary Connect and Linfox have partnered on the launch of the vehicle as part of a trial to explore opportunities for EVs in the supply chain and will be monitoring its performance over the coming months.
“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,” said Chris Brooks, Acting Managing Director of Primary Connect and Woolworths Group Chief Supply Chain Officer.
“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,” he said.
“We supply more than 1,000 supermarkets across the country, and the ongoing development of electric heavy vehicles 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.”
With freight remaining a key economic driver for the state, the Victorian Government encouraged all contributions to achieving a target of net zero emissions by 2050 according to Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne.
“While we continue to focus on the reduction of heavy vehicle emissions right across the freight industry, we strongly encourage other companies to follow Woolworths’ lead in adopting electric vehicles for their freight fleet,” she said.
“Efficient freight is vital to keeping Victoria moving, and road and rail critical in doing so. That is why we continue to invest in a low emissions freight sector – from the Port Rail Shuttle Network, on-dock rail at the Port of Melbourne, the proposed Western Interstate Freight Terminal, and increasing the High Productivity Freight Vehicle network.”
Linfox is a major freight partner to Primary Connect, providing distribution vehicles and drivers to support its fleet Australia-wide.
In 2007, Linfox set out to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half and achieved it according to Linfox Executive Chairman Peter Fox.
“Linfox is proud to lead the way in the switch to electric vehicles in Australia’s logistics industry as we strive to meet our zero-emissions targets and support our customers to do the same,” he said.
“With shared values, environmental considerations are at the top of Linfox, Woolworths and Volvo’s agendas. It is sustainability partnerships like this that can drive big change.”
The electric truck will travel from Primary Connect’s Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre to Woolworths supermarkets around the Melbourne metro area daily, emblazoned with a green livery bearing Woolworths’ lime power cable and Linfox’s GreenFox emblem.
It can carry up to eight pallets of produce, allowing Woolworths to transport an average of around four tonnes in each trip.
The EV can travel up to 200 kilometres on a single charge and has regeneration capability, allowing the battery to recharge each time the truck travels downhill or brakes.
Linfox said it was significantly quieter than diesel alternatives.
Primary Connect’s Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre, where the truck will be based and recharged, has a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and a comprehensive 1.5MW solar system which generates enough electricity to power 320 households.
In August 2018, Woolworths Group launched its first electric distribution vehicle, the first 100 per cent electric heavy rigid vehicle in Australia – and the largest of its kind at the time.
Its second EV joined the fleet in 2019.