Openfield Group has teamed up with Voltloader to trial fully electric trucks in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

The partnership will see grain loads moved from Openfield member farm gates to consumer customers using an all-electric fleet, which is currently focused on the bulk haulage industry.

The firm says teaming up with Voltloader helps with an ambitious plan to explore opportunities for alternative fuels for their transport operation.

Furthermore, as Openfield uses Voltloader for local deliveries, they’ll gain insight into the next steps required to meet their overall net zero commitment, while at the same time reducing the haulage carbon footprint.

ESG plan

Openfield recently launched a new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plan which includes a commitment to become net zero by 2040, and to become the leading partner of net zero solutions for seed, fertiliser, grain and storage.

A recent own fleet expansion means that in addition to the company’s increased service offer, by moving more than half of their own grain, they now have a direct influence over their road haulage environment impact.

“Green House Gas emissions from the transportation of grain and oilseeds are the single largest contributor to Openfield’s tonnes of CO2 equivalent footprint”, says Richard Jenner, member service director.

“While we seek to become net zero by 2040, we’re also committed to supporting all of our consumer customers and farmer members on their own journey to net zero. Using vehicles powered by diesel alternative fuel options, such as electric, HVO and biomethane, will reduce our transport emissions by 70-85%”.

Moving forward

Recent loads have included deliveries into consumers at Bawsey, Long Buckby and Stoke Ferry from farms in the region of Voltloader’s base in Whittlesey. Currently, payloads are in excess of 24t (up to 29t for diesel HGVs) and the range for trucks on one charge is around 150 miles.

However, Voltloader’s rapid 200kW charging capability at its Whittlesey site allows trucks to be topped up in only 90 minutes, facilitating a greater daily range for vehicles. This will further grow with their vision to expand along the A1 in Lincolnshire and Cambridge and into East Anglia, says Richard.