Volvo FE Electric - Biffa

Biffa, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management company, has put its first electric skiploader into service, with a new Volvo FE Electric 18-tonne 4x2 bringing zero tailpipe emission operation to the Isle of Wight.

Founded in 1912, Biffa operates a 4,000-strong commercial vehicle fleet spread across more than 100 depots in the UK.

  • Equipped with four batteries, the Volvo FE Electric offers a range of approximately 190km
  • Average charging time of 2.3 hours using the 150kW DC charger
  • Powered by two electric motors, generating a peak torque of 850 Nm
  • Mounted with Boughton Engineering skiploader bodywork



The support from Volvo Trucks has been fantastic: they’ve had the answers for us at every stage and the suitability and performance of the FE Electric for this application is already clear to see.

Why Volvo Electric?

The arrival of the Volvo FE Electric forms part of an order for 104 new Biffa vehicles from Volvo Trucks, being deployed across the UK as part of a major fleet modernisation programme.

Anthony Holley, Fleet & Facilities Director at Biffa, says: “As a business we have more than a century’s worth of experience in helping our customers keep their environment clean, and are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. Central to this is the transition of our fleet to alternative fuels and naturally we wanted to be amongst the first fleets to gain real-world experience of operating an electric truck.”

The Volvo Solution

The new unit – supplied by Abdi Ali, Key Account Manager, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland – has been mounted with Boughton Engineering skiploader bodywork and is powered by two electric motors, generating a peak torque of 850 Nm and is driven by a two-speed transmission, offering a very smooth driving experience.

This power is handled by a unique traction control system developed to master even slippery surfaces, while different drive modes are available to set the desired performance, comfort, and energy usage levels.

Equipped with four batteries, it offers a range of approximately 190km and can be recharged in just 2.3 hours with the use of a 150kW DC charger. The Biffa team can also take advantage of top-up charges midshift, as the battery can be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity.


The Results

The Volvo FE Electric has effortlessly slotted into Biffa’s operations on the Isle of Wight. Based at its depot in Newport, the zero-tailpipe emission FE is delivering and collecting skips across the island.

“The support from Volvo Trucks has been fantastic: they’ve had the answers for us at every stage and the suitability and performance of the FE Electric for this application is already clear to see,” adds Holley. “It offers significant potential for us, as we look to transition more of the fleet to electric in line with our ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ sustainability strategy.”

“The Biffa team have incredibly high standards for what they require from any vehicle entering their fleet, and the FE Electric ticked all the boxes and is ideally suited to this application,” concludes Hannah Burgess, Director of New Vehicle Sales at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland.

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