After just days earlier demonstrating its first series production heavy duty trucks using a centrally mounted electric motor pack mated to a conventional I Shift AMT Volvo has revealed a completely new, fully electric rear axle at the IAA transport show in Hannover.
The revelation at the Hannover Show provides the answer to the question truck journalists were asking – why was the Swedish truck giant was pursuing central motor transmission architecture when arch rival Daimler and others had gone down the e-axle route.
Speculation has led some to believe that the current non e axle solution is an interim one and has been used to buy time as Volvo moved to develop its now integrated e-axle.
Volvo also shocked everyone with not a single diesel powered truck on its extensive stand, and only electric trucks featured. This despite the fact that in earlier press briefing in Gothenburg during the Australian media drive program the company explained that internal combustion engines would have a future, albeit a minor one, in its product line up for some years to come. It was pointed out that while internal combustion or ICE power plants would be needed into the future, they will use carbon neutral fuel, a synthetic or bio mass creation labeled as e diesel , which Volvo is apparently working on with a number of energy companies around the world.
Logically Volvo says its new e-axle will free up space for more batteries, and it says that it will mean that longer range can be achieved bay its battery electric trucks, a point Daimler and others have already pointed to.
Volvo said at the show that it now has the widest offer of battery electric trucks in the industry, with six different models in serial production.
Volvo’s Jessica Sandström, the senior vice president of global product management for Volvo Trucks described the axle as a breakthrough, although we believe it is a breakthrough that other makers have already.
“This is a breakthrough for electric trucks and a clear signal that there will be a huge demand for public fast-chargers for heavy trucks in the near future, not the least along highways,” said Sandstorm.
Volvo says it will start series production of trucks with its new e-axle in a few years from now and says it will complement the current line-up of battery electric trucks.
“We will continue with our versatile battery electric trucks that are already in production. They can currently cover a wide range of transport assignments. In a few years, we will add this new rear e-axle for customers covering longer routes than today,” Sandström continued.
Volvo has underlined that it has a three-path strategy to reach zero emissions; battery electric, fuel cell electric and combustion engines that run on renewable fuels like biogas, HVO or even green hydrogen.
“Different technical solutions are needed to tackle climate change, since the availability of energy and fuel infrastructure differs between countries and regions and also between different transport assignments,” Sandström concluded.