Ringway chooses unique fully electric five-star DVS-compliant VOLVO FE for Hounslow

Ringway Hounslow Highways has taken delivery of the UK highways sector’s first 26-tonne Volvo FE Electric 6×2 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.

The Ringway 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.

The London Borough of Hounslow has over 451km of the local highways; with most being urban, including the Transport for London network into and out of the capital. Ringway undertakes routine, reactive, and cyclical highway maintenance on Hounslow streets, its 45 bridges and highway structures, 16,000 streetlights, 16,000 drainage assets and 11,000 trees as well emergency response, street cleansing, and winter and severe weather service operations. 

Mitesh Solanki, Managing Director at Ringway, says: “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 applying innovations to reduce carbon impact.”

The Volvo FE Electric will immediately grab attention thanks to the rigid’s bright yellow, bespoke-built body – completed by Thompsons – with the vehicle 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, while also allowing them to easily enter and exit the vehicle.

Ringway has 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” adds 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 spec five-star vehicles going forward.”

The Ringway FE Electric utilises 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,” concludes 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 43,000 km of the UK’s highway network – one of the largest specialist highway maintenance portfolios in the country – Ringway’s work sees it 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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