Scottish Forestry has awarded funding towards battery-powered trucks designed for delivering timber in a UK first trial.
The public body has allocated £452,000 towards a three-year pilot, which will test the use of two “state-of-the-art” Volvo electric wagons.
James Jones & Sons Ltd will trial a 40-tonne articulated lorry from their sawmill in Lockerbie to transport timber to their Hangingshaws national distribution centre.
Scotlog Haulage will use a 44-tonne truck in the Highlands to move Roundwood timber from Inverness Harbour to West Fraser and other local mills.
The two new vehicles are currently being manufactured in Gothenburg and are expected to be ready for use in summer 2023.
The move is aimed at tackling timber transport issues as part of the Scottish Government’s overall efforts to decarbonise and reach Net Zero.
Announcing the funding package, rural affairs 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.”
Neil Stoddart, director of Creel Maritime, who are managing the project, added: “In terms of road haulage, the timber industry is pretty advanced in looking for solutions to decarbonise.
“For example, we are reducing diesel lorry miles on many projects and opting for transport by sea. Additionally we are reviewing using an alternative fuelled barge to transport logs across a remote Loch in the Highlands.
“This is a very exciting project but there are big challenges in running articulated lorries on electric power, mainly on cost grounds and infrastructure.
“This three-year trial will look into all these aspects and I’m keen to share as much detail on this with the industry.”
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