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Volvo FE Electric UK first for Ringway

Highway maintenance contractors Ringway have taken delivery of a unique five-star DVS-compliant, 26-tonne Volvo FE Electric 6x2 rigid with low-entry cab
Highway maintenance contractors Ringway have taken delivery of a unique five-star DVS-compliant, 26-tonne Volvo FE Electric 6x2 rigid with low-entry cab

Ringway take UK highways sector’s first fully electric Volvo FE rigid tipper with grab body and low-entry cab

RINGWAY Hounslow Highways have taken delivery of the UK highways sector’s first 26-tonne Volvo FE Electric 6x2 rigid featuring a tipper grab body and low-entry cab, ensuring the vehicle is fully compliant with London’s five-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) requirements.

Supplied by Ian Sharrock, key account manager at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East, Ringway’s Volvo FE Electric directly replaces a similarly sized diesel vehicle in the Hounslow fleet, unlocking an immediate sustainability benefit. The truck will be deployed on various highway and street service works, operating up to seven days a week and completing more than 30,000km annually in the urban London borough.

 

Ringway managing director Mitesh Solanki said: ‘With sustainability becoming more and more important in our sector, we are eager to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout our business. Having assessed the options on the market, we quickly concluded that a bespoke build would offer us the most flexibility. The Volvo FE Electric provided an ideal platform to create a first-of-its-kind vehicle in the UK and yet again lead the way to continue our transition from diesel fuel.

‘Working within London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, we’re fully confident the rigid will not just meet, but exceed Hounslow Highway’s expectations, delivering practical and environmentally conscious operational performance with absolutely zero tailpipe emissions. This forms part of Ringway’s commitment to support Hounslow Highways with its green agenda and aspirations to improve air quality, encourage biodiversity and green spaces, and apply innovations to reduce carbon impact.’

The Volvo FE Electric rigid’s eye-catching bright yellow, bespoke-built body – completed by Thompsons – is expected to complete a variety of work ranging from clearing waste bays and transporting inert waste to recycling centres, delivering recycled materials, and responding to emergencies.

To satisfy the business’ DVS requirements, the vehicle combines an FE low-entry cab and features bus-style doors and an array of cameras to grant drivers maximum visibility of their immediate surroundings, whilst also allowing them to easily enter and exit the vehicle.

Ringway have also become the first UK company to place an order for a right-hand drive version of Volvo’s brand-new FM Low Entry all-electric truck – the manufacturer’s first-ever electric-only vehicle – which has already been awarded a five-star DVS rating.

‘We’ve been deploying low-entry cabs for several years now, and the safety and visibility benefits have been well received by our drivers,’ added Mr Solanki. ‘Though the incoming DVS scheme will allow three-star vehicles to operate in London for at least 10 years from October 2024, our view is that we will only use spec five-star vehicles going forward.’

The Ringway FE Electric utilizes three batteries and a two-speed transmission, offering a smooth and comfortable driving experience, largely thanks to a unique traction control system which is designed to master even slippery surfaces. Different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

‘The Volvo team’s input has been invaluable in helping us to fully understand our electric vehicle power usage requirements and overall feasibility, allowing us to paint the full picture of how the new vehicle will operate in the real world,’ concluded Mr Solanki.

The truck is backed by a Volvo Gold Contract, covering all maintenance and repairs, as well as proactive monitoring of batteries and associated components.

Responsible for more than 43,000km of the UK’s highway network – one of the largest specialist highway maintenance portfolios in the country – Ringway’s work sees them operate across the strategic road network, Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) motorways and trunk roads, as well as the local authority network. 

 

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