Volvo Group Australia boss, Martin Merrick has told the Australian truck trade press that 35 per cent of the Swedish truck maker’s global production will be powered by electric drivelines by the end of the decade .
Merrick was speaking at the company’s Brisbane headquarters at its 2021 press conference which marks the launch of a new range of Volvo trucks and follows the recent launch of Mack’s new Anthem and Evolution range.
The Volvo boss also restated the company’s aim to produce fossil fuel free transport by 2040 and to be a carbon neutral company by 2050.
The new Volvo range, which the company says comes after a $25million investment in its Wacol production facility, now meets Euro 6 emission standards, spans the FL, FM and FH with all new cabs , including a crew cab version of the FM, and a new simplified dash and digital instrumentation across the entire range. Other new features include adaptive high beam lighting , adaptive cruise control that runs down to a full stop and restrains the truck on downhill runs, while the FH will again be available with the company’s large XXL Globetrotter cab.
The launch of the new range also coincides with the Gary Bone’s return to the position of vice president of Volvo Trucks Australia, almost exactly seven years after he launched the last new FH model as vice president of the company, before he left to run agricultural equipment maker Chesterfield. Bone returned to VGA last year to run the Mack brand before recently moving into the Volvo role, after Tony O’Connell moved to Kuala Lumpur to be managing director of Volvo Malaysia.
Martin Merrick has taken up the role heading up Mack , until a replacement to Gary Bone can be found.
Despite a difficult year for the Brisbane based truck making group, following the pandemic, a major round of redundancies and supply chain issues slowing production, Merrick believes the future is looking good for Volvo group, with the new model onslaught across, Volvo Mack and UD as well as the commencement of electric truck trials with Linfox.
“I think we are well positioned for the future and we are excited by the new models and the new technology that is in the pipeline for our company,” said Merrick.
Also speaking at the conference, VGA’s vice president of strategy, Paul Illmer, told the media that the company is developing a decarbonization road map and that sustainability would be the guiding principle throughout the business.
Illmer told the gathered media that the company would be strengthening its support around batteries in both their first and second life and is doing a lot of work in the area of charging as well as with hydrogen fuel cells through its joint venture with Daimler.
“There is unlikely to be a one solution fits all when it comes to zero emission and low carbon power for trucks and it is likely to be a mix of battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell electric, and also bio-diesel and LNG,” said Illmer.
“Diesel will still play a major role in our trucks for many years to come but it is a priority to make it as clean as possible and to develop the new zero emission technologies as well,” Illmer added.
Truck and Bus News hopes to have a drive report on the new Volvos in coming weeks.