Hovis has introduced electric vehicles to its fleet in a move that would help prepare the “business for a lower carbon future”, according to Nish Kankiwala, CEO of Hovis.

Claiming to be the first fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm to roll out all-electric lorries, the move is part of Hovis’ long-term carbon footprint reduction efforts. The company is also preparing for imminent emission-based policy changes in London.

Hovis will be deploying two FUSO eCanter vehicles – the third generation of the world’s first all-electric light lorries – for an initial two-year period. At first, the battery-powered trucks will be used to distribute goods across London and surrounding areas.

The firm said its latest development would also support Transport for London’s plans to roll out an Ultra-Low Emission Zone next year; an area in central London within which most vehicles will need to meet updated exhaust emission standards, or pay charges.

One of the very first UK businesses to adopt FUSO eCanter vehicles, Hovis delivers around 1.3 million loaves every week day throughout the UK and Ireland, with only two other UK companies – courier service DPD and logistics firm Wincanton – adopting the emission-free lorries, which are also significantly quieter than their diesel counterparts.

As part of its effort to become a more energy-efficient business, Hovis said it has already removed two million-worth of road miles through improved vehicle routing and optimised load fill.