Volvo goes electric with truck line-up | Daily News


Volvo goes electric with truck line-up

Volvo Trucks has started sales of its Volvo FL and Volvo FE electric trucks in selected markets, meeting the increasing demand for sustainable transport solutions in city environments.

The reduced noise levels make it possible to carry out deliveries and refuse collection in early mornings, late evenings or even at night, helping to improve transport logistics and reduce congestion during peak hours. Second, with better air quality and less noise, electric trucks create new opportunities for city planning and road infrastructure. An electric truck can, for example be used in indoor loading areas and environmental zones. 

“Global urbanization requires urban logistics and truck transport with zero emissions and less noise with increasing urgency. With the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric we are able to meet both the strong environmental demands as well as the high commercial requirements of our customers,” says Jonas Odermalm, VP Product Line Electromobility.

“Volvo Trucks’ solutions will be based on individual business needs that consider a number of parameters, such as driving cycles, load capacity and route analysis, to use the battery capacity in the most efficient way possible,” continues Jonas Odermalm.

The trucks were developed in close collaboration with selected customers operating in Gothenburg, Sweden. Feedback has been very positive, and the drivers involved in the collaboration are particularly impressed by the responsive driveline, seamless acceleration and how quiet the trucks are. 

The Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric trucks have been developed for distribution, refuse handling and other urban transport applications. Sales will start in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. The start of serial production is planned for March 2020. The Volvo FL Electric has capacity for a GVW (gross vehicle weight) of 16 tonnes, while the GVW of the Volvo FE Electric is 27 tonnes.

After Volvo Trucks recently started selling electric trucks for urban traffic, the manufacturer now plans to introduce heavy electric vehicles for construction and regional distribution and has developed two concept trucks.

These are a four-axle tip truck and a semi-trailer tractor. Volvo Trucks has not yet mentioned any technical details. The company plans to initially deliver the vehicles in small quantities to selected customers in Europe and says that a more comprehensive market launch will take place at a later date.

Volvo says it is convinced that battery-electric solutions can also be a competitive alternative for more massive trucks. “We see great potential for heavy-duty electric trucks for regional transport and construction in the longer term,” says Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.

Volvo has not yet provided any information on the concepts’ drive technology. Still, the new models will use the cabin bodyshell of the (LNG) FH models from Volvo’s long-distance transport range. Nevertheless, the new concepts are not intended as electric long-range transport vehicles, but rather for regional use. “In Europe, there is an enormous number of trucks used for regional goods transport that have an average annual mileage of 80,000 km,” says Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environmental Protection and Innovation at Volvo Trucks. “This means that increased use of electric vehicles for regional distribution would result in significant climate gains, provided the electricity is fossil-free,” he extrapolates.

Heavy-duty electric vehicles can improve the working environment for drivers and construction workers due to the low noise level and the absence of emissions during operation. The quiet e-vehicles could be used in cities for more extended periods of the day without disturbing residents, which would increase operating hours for companies. Despite this economic effect, Roger Alm still sees a need for subsidies to help electric trucks make their breakthrough. “To increase demand for electrified trucks, the charging infrastructure needs to be rapidly expanded,” says the Volvo Trucks President. Volvo Trucks is now a separate company from Volvo Cars, now owned by Geely of China. However, the two companies still share research on driverless technology.

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