Reynolds, one of the biggest chilled food suppliers in the UK, has turned to Fraikin as it embarks on a long-term electrification strategy across its commercial vehicle fleet, with the company’s first of a planned 24 all-electric trucks already delivering significant emissions savings.

Signed to a five-year, full-service contract hire agreement, the new 7.5-tonne temperature-controlled rigid features an Isuzu chassis specifically adapted by electric drivetrain specialist, Magtec, with a bespoke body from Paneltex.

Joining a 212-strong mixed commercial vehicle fleet, the new truck replaces an older diesel asset on multi-drop delivery routes around Bristol and Bath and is saving the business around 550kg of CO2 emissions per week. Over the next three years the plan is for it to be joined by a further 23 electric vehicles, ranging from 4.5-tonne vans up to a 37-tonne DAF tractor unit.

Steve White, Head of National Fleet at Reynolds, says: “Improving the sustainability of our fleet by making the shift to electric has been a long-term plan for the business, but we needed a partner capable of supporting us on that journey.

“Fraikin met all the criteria we were looking for. They are ahead of the curve when it comes to alternative-fuelled options, with unrivalled industry experience and product knowledge combined with a level of flexibility that helped us to take the first step. We have grand plans moving forward with them from here.”

The business opted for its Bristol depot as the base for the new truck as the varied delivery routes would provide a perfect testing ground for range and performance. The vehicle is on the road six days per week, covering between 90 and 100 miles a day, well within the 140-mile range from a single charge.

Though true comparisons between the total cost of operation compared to the diesel truck it replaced are difficult to accurately measure, the seven-hour overnight charge required to replenish the battery each night has cut weekly fuel costs by more than 50%.

“We believe electric to be the future, so have invested in the charging infrastructure required to support our plans. We’ve factored in the relevant costs involved and we know that the fuel savings will deliver a return on that investment over time. That said, cost-saving has never been the priority for us, this is about leading the charge toward a greener future,” adds White.

As the company’s electric vehicle partner, Fraikin will help Reynolds to place 10 new 4.5-tonne vans, 10 more 7.5-tonne trucks, a 26-tonne and 19-tonne rigid, and the all-electric DAF tractor unit into operation by 2025, spread across its seven depots in Bristol, Bury St Edmunds, Coalville, Grangemouth, Leeds, Newbury, and Stockport.

Reynolds will rely on Fraikin for all repair, maintenance and servicing on the new vehicle, utilising the company’s expertise in the new technology and its national network of workshops

Set up in 1945, Reynolds started as a fruit and vegetable stall in Hackney and now supplies an extensive range of fresh food, including meat, poultry, seafood, cheese and other dairy products, as well as prepared produce to customers in the catering and foodservice sectors.