Volvo FM Electric - Joseph Parr

Joseph Parr (Alco) has taken delivery of a Volvo FM Electric 6x2 rigid, believed to be the first zero-tailpipe heavy-duty truck working for a builders’ merchant in the UK.
Volvo FM Electric - Joseph Parr

The business is part of the Joseph Parr Group. Founded in 1883, the company has grown to become one of the largest independent builders’ merchants in the country.


  • The FM Electric is powered by two electrical motors which generate 450 hp.
  • It will operate at 28-tonnes gross vehicle weight.
  • The truck will charge overnight on a newly-installed 43kW AC charger at the company’s depot.
  • Bodywork includes a Palfinger BM 26 crane.



When the decision was made to go down the electric route, Volvo Trucks was the obvious choice.

Why Volvo Electric?

To help decarbonise its operations, Joseph Parr (Alco) opted to look at alternative fuel options for its delivery fleet and turned to Volvo Trucks as a trusted partner of its business.

Michael Beaumont, Joint Managing Director at Joseph Parr (Alco), says: “Regulations across the industry are changing and we want to ensure we are ahead of the curve in terms of new green technologies.

“When the decision was made to go down the electric route, Volvo Trucks was the obvious choice. We had one Volvo on the fleet already and they are clearly leading the way when it comes to electric.”

The Volvo Solution

Supplied by Jason Robinson, Area Sales Manager at Crossroads Truck and Bus, the new vehicle has a fourbattery configuration, ensuring the perfect combination of range and payload capacity for Joseph Parr’s building material supply deliveries.

Built on a 5,200mm wheelbase, the rear steer tag axle FM Electric – fitted with a Palfinger BM 26 crane – is powered by two electrical motors which generate 450 hp and will operate at a 28-tonnes gross vehicle weight.

The FM Electric is backed by a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract, which will see all maintenance undertaken at the local dealership in Birstall. The contract also guarantees the performance of the

traction batteries beyond the two-year warranty that comes with the truck as standard, for customer peace of mind.

The specification includes a day cab, while the truck’s exterior has been enhanced with a striking Naval Blue livery, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, chassis side skirts and two roof amber beacons.

The Results

Replacing a diesel model in the company’s fleet, the FM Electric will offer the business instant environmental benefits. The truck was part funded by a grant from Bradford City Council, which will monitor the truck’s impact closely – via data from Volvo Connect, the manufacturer’s fleet management system – as it tries to drive down carbon emissions in the city’s Clean Air Zone and wider areas.

“Despite the additional weight of the batteries, we actually see a slight payload advantage over the traditional 26-tonne diesel trucks we run,” adds Beaumont. “That was an important factor as we are pretty much up to full weight every time our trucks go out.”

A newly-installed 43kW AC charger at the company’s depot will allow the truck to charge overnight before heading out to complete its deliveries the next day. As well as working in Bradford, the business will also use the FM Electric for operations in Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Halifax and Manchester.