Volvo has announced its first commercial use all – electric truck–the Volvo FL Electric aimed at urban distribution and refuse operations among other applications.
Volvo says series production and sales of the new model will start in Europe next year.
With rival Daimler already announcing and launching electric trucks in the USA, Europe and Japan the Swedish giant has been under pressure to bring an electric zero emission truck to market as the market embraces battery fuelled trucks.
President of Volvo Trucks, Claes Nilsson said the company is immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic.
“With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports,” Nilsson said.
Volvo says that with better air quality and less noise in the city, it is possible to plan for housing and infrastructure more freely than at present. An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. Their low noise level creates opportunities for doing more work at night, reducing the burden on roads during the day.
Volvo added that there is considerable market interest in electric trucks and added that many potential customers have questions about the opportunities generated by the new technology and how it can impact their operations.
“In order to make the transition secure and smooth, we will offer holistic solutions based on each customer’s individual needs regarding driving cycles, load capacity, uptime, range and other parameters,” said Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks.
“Such a solution may encompass everything from route analysis and battery optimisation to servicing and financing. Volvo Trucks works closely with several suppliers of charging equipment. The aim as always is to offer customers high up time and productivity,” he added.
With that electric drive experience in buses Volvo says the technology used for propulsion and energy storage in its FL Electric has been thoroughly tried and tested and is supported by Volvo Trucks’ sales, service and parts supply network.
“From experience we know how important it is that cities, energy suppliers and vehicle manufacturers cooperate in order for large-scale electrification to become reality, “explained Jonas Odermalm.
“With attractive incentives, agreed standards and along-term strategy for urban planning and expansion of the charging infrastructure, the process can go much faster,” he added.
Volvo Trucks says it is essential to take a holistic view of electrification of the transport sector to handle the ongoing challenges in areas such as electricity generation and batteries.
“For instance, in order to ensure that raw materials forth batteries are extracted in a responsible way, the Volvo Group works with the Drive Sustainably network, which has a special function that monitors this issue,” said Odermalm.
“The Volvo Group is also involved in various projects where batteries from heavy electric vehicles get a second lease of life, reused for energy storage. All the questions about handling of batteries have not yet been solved, but we are working actively both within the Group and together with other actors to drive development and create the necessary solutions,” he added.
The first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers in Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg in Sweden.
The truck will have a GVM of 16 tonnes and will use a 185kWelectric motor with 130kW of continuous output with a two speed transmission with power stored in 2-6lithium-ionbatteries,totaling100–300kWhboasting a range of up to 300km. Maximum torque from the electric motor is 425Nm while maximum torque at the rear axle is quoted at 16kNm.
Volvo says that charging will via AC from the mains grid (22kW) or from DC fast charge via CCS/Combo 2 for up to 150kW. Recharging time from empty to fully charged on fast charge will be 1-2 hours while overnight charge will take up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300kWh.
The first two Volvo FL Electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company, Renova and haulage firm TGM.