“Currently, we have the largest fleet of electric trucks in Spain and rank among the top five in all of Europe,” acknowledges Paula Díaz-Caneja Gutierrez.
The Director of the Environment and Quality Department at Alimerka puts into words the milestone the company has achieved with its move towards zero-emission mobility.
In February 2023, the Asturian company unveiled its 100% electric trucks: 21 units of Scania 25P.
Additionally, over the past few years, 26 electric vans have been acquired for order deliveries.
But this journey began some time ago.
The sustainability strategy dates back to 2017 when they started installing solar panels on the roof of their main warehouse and began replacing the first vehicles with LNG.
In 2019, they acquired the largest photovoltaic installation in Lugo de Llanera, with up to 7,500 panels and a power of 2.41 MW peak.
And in 2021, the first 100% electric trucks arrived.
What does all this achieve?
In the words of Alimerka’s executive: it results in an up to 80% reduction in carbon footprint and an improvement in the efficiency of their processes.
“It is an economic effort, we won’t deny it, but it is true that companies do it because there is no future without a commitment to this path,” acknowledges Paula Díaz-Caneja Gutierrez.
To carry out these advancements, Alimerka has had the support of the Department of Rural Affairs and Territorial Cohesion of the Principality of Asturias.
Through the grant awarded, coming from funds from the European Union-Next Generation, approximately 30% of the investment was covered.
Alimerka’s eMobility Fleet in Detail
Upon arriving at the Alimerka Logistics Center facilities in Asturias, the presence of the Scania25P can be immediately noticed.
These are 21 units with three axles, 26 tons, and a capacity of 300 kilowatts of autonomy with a full charge of their batteries.
However, they have a range of 250 to 200 kilowatts, according to Pelayo Alonso, Transport Manager of the Asturian company.
“Another important detail is that all the refrigeration equipment is 100% electric and is all connected to the vehicle’s batteries,” he adds in this regard.
The modifications made specifically for Alimerka’s fleet are a noticeable factor during the visit.
When looking at the trucks, all of them have outlets behind the driver’s cabin, a request made by the supermarket chain and implemented by Scania in the 21 units delivered.
“We wanted an outlet that allows us to comply with charging regulations, so we made the modification that went from a front connector to a side one, and it ended up giving us a cable length of 8 meters,” explains Pelayo Alonso.
On the other hand, 19 Siemens 150-kilowatt charging points have been installed.
They cover the entire electric fleet, allowing these trucks to charge their batteries at a power of 130 kW, which is the maximum each unit allows.
In this regard, the fleet manager details: “We rarely have to recharge from 0%, but when we do, we reach full power in at least an hour.”
But the reality is that they rarely apply that charging process.
Each unit completes its first distribution trip, arrives with an average autonomy at the docks, strategically charges, and continues its journeys.
This way, electric trucks usually don’t take more than half an hour to complete their total autonomy, between trips.
What are the usual routes?
When talking about routes, Pelayo Alonso makes a preliminary note:
“The unit with the most kilometers at the moment is around 47,000 kilometers, and so far, we have not noticed any battery degradation.”
With this clear, he admits that they also push the electric trucks “to the limit.”
They usually cover routes from Oviedo to Gijón, as well as to Avilés.
From the warehouse to Oviedo is about 8-9 kilometers, and to Gijón, about 11.
But the longest trip the Scania 25P has made is from Oviedo to León.
With an intermediate recharge, they have managed to reach a distance of 128 kilometers, but this is not a common occurrence.
“If we aim to cover longer distances, we should opt for units with double the autonomy or plan routes with intermediate charges,” explains the head of Alimerka’s fleet.
With an expansion of the fleet in future visits and projects like these in full study, Alimerka has placed itself on the European podium of zero-emission fleets, with the first position at the national level.