Ringway trials the UK’s first electric multi-purpose highway maintenance HGV truck

Highway maintenance contractor Ringway and its long-term strategic fleet partner Econ, have successfully trialled the first electric multi-purpose highway maintenance HGV truck in the UK.

Econ has developed a new Electric Quick Change Body (E-QCB) system, built on the newly launched 19-tonne Volvo FE Electric 4×2 chassis.  The Econ E-QCB can be supplied with three demount bodies, to get all year utilisation of the electric Volvo chassis. It has a winter 6m3 spreader body, an insulated end tipper body specifically designed for highway maintenance works, or a caged tipper body for street scene activities, such as street refuse collection, fly tip removal and recycling operations.

The Econ E-QCB system uses hydraulic rams and locking systems, that enable the bodies to be switched in 15 minutes, controlled by a single trained operator. Volvo’s FE Electric has a recharging time of 2.3 hours with a high powered 150kW DC charger, giving a range of up to 150 miles, and features two electric motors as well as a 2-speed gearbox.

This electric 19 tonne trial is the first of its kind for an E-QCB system in the UK and is running in the East Midlands until 12 June 2023.

The trial takes place as part of Ringway’s continued progress to reduce carbon emissions within their fleet portfolio and to prove where depots, with sufficient substations, can charge such an HGV EV in fleet downtime to avoid operational constraints.

Ringway will also be dynamically testing the Quick Change Body (QCB) system and the 19-tonne Volvo FE Electric 4×2 chassis with a view to using it in other aspects of the highway services it delivers. 

The development is the product of a collaboration between Econ Engineering’s R&D team and product specialists from Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, as well as the supplying dealer Crossroads Truck & Bus.

Mitesh Solanki, Managing Director of Ringway said: “For Ringway, this trial further demonstrates how we are constantly seeking to innovate and evolve to meet our carbon reduction goals and those of our clients without compromising the service.”


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