The change from diesel to electric forklifts, an easy journey for Beijer Bygg

The Swedish building materials company Beijer Bygg is constantly looking into more sustainable and efficient solutions. Beijer aims to replace all its diesel trucks with Toyota electric forklifts by 2023.

About Beijer Bygg

Beijer Byggmaterial AB is Sweden's largest wholly owned building trade chain with 110 building materials and tile stores all over Sweden. They supply both domestic and construction professionals with high-quality building materials, tools and services.


Facts & figures

Company: Beijer Byggmaterial AB

Location: 110 branches all over Sweden

Industry: Construction and materials industry

Trucks: Toyota rental trucks

Goal: 100% electric trucks by 2023

Beijer Bygg has always been at the forefront of its industry when it comes to sustainability and is constantly working to find smarter and more efficient solutions. Beijer aims for all diesel trucks at the company's branches to be replaced by 2023.

In autumn 2019, an agreement was signed with Toyota Material Handling Sweden to replace all diesel trucks with electric trucks and take over overall responsibility for service. By 2021, 87% of all trucks were replaced with electric trucks. "Going from diesel to electric has been a surprisingly easy journey," says Henrik Ehrengren, director of logistics at Beijer. It was a central decision that was first and foremost based on Beijer's sustainability goals, but also on a work environment aspect. Electricity is quieter, doesn't smell and is reliable. Diesel is more cumbersome as there is always a risk of leakage when refuelling. At many branches, where we also have customers move about in the same environment as our trucks, it has made a big difference as we avoid exhaust fumes and the loud noise.

Hesitations at first, convinced once driven the trucks

Some were hesitant about the change, especially in northern Sweden where they were worried that the batteries would not last in the cold, whether the electric truck would last the whole day and how they would keep the truck warm during breaks.

Henrik believes that the question marks that were there initially disappeared once the electric trucks were in place and started to be used. Those who have driven diesel trucks and switched to electric certainly do not want to go back. Being able to test with demo trucks, to allow anyone who was hesitant to drive for themselves and feel the difference, was important. At night the trucks are charged indoors so they can run problemless all day. And with the cabins on Toyota's counterbalanced trucks, drivers can comfortably work in cold conditions.


Further fleet improvements

In addition to the holistic approach with rental solutions and service, Toyota also helped Beijer to slim down the truck fleet at several branches and remove the old unused trucks. For the agreement to include follow-up and overall control of the entire truck fleet was an important factor, says Henrik.

  • Toyota bought up many trucks, which has made it easier for us. This also meant a higher rate of replacement of the trucks.
  • The collaboration with Toyota Material Handling gave us greater control of the truck fleet thanks to Toyota's fleet management system "I_Site" to which the trucks are connected.
  • The switch to electric trucks reduced our operating costs given the high diesel prices in the past year.

The change to electricity not only led to a better working environment for those who work outside in the yard, but also to our customers the change has made a big difference. Today it is easier to talk to customers as the environment is generally much quieter. A big plus.

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