Volvo has partnered with two timber companies in Scotland to run a three-year trial which will test the use of electric timber wagons.
James Jones & Sons and Scotlog Haulage will collaborate with Volvo and Cleaner EV to undertake the demonstrator project, with Scottish Forestry awarded £452,000 to support the trial.
Scotland’s forests harvest around seven million tonnes of wood each year, with 44-tonne diesel lorries used to transport material to sawmills, board manufacturers and other processors.
James Jones & Sons will trial a 40-tonne electric articulated lorry which will transport timber from their sawmill in Lockerbie to their national distribution centre in Hangingshaw.
Scotlog Haulage meanwhile, will trial a 44-tonne Volvo electric truck in the Highlands, which will move roundwood timber from Inverness harbour to West Fraser.
The electric trucks will be evaluated for their achievable mileage, battery consumption, durability, viability and total cost of ownership.
The project will also see all partners involved share their experiences of running the electric lorries with others in the timber and rural haulage sectors.
Creel Maritime will monitor the use of the lorries and support the sharing of knowledge gained over the course of the trial.
Commenting on the launch of the new trial, rural affair secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “forestry is vital to helping Scotland achieve its net zero target by 2045. Around 7.6 million tonnes of harmful CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere from Scotland’s trees each year and the timber used in houses and other wooden products lock away carbon for its lifetime.
“The forestry sector is innovative and always using new technology to increase its business efficiencies. I welcome this new trial and look forward to hearing more about the findings as we drive closer to Net Zero.”
The two new Volvo electric timber vehicles are currently being manufactured in Gothenburg and are expected to be ready for use later this summer.