Volvo Trucks launches its first all-electric truck

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 12 Apr 2018

Swedish OEM Volvo Trucks has announced the launch of its first all-electric truck for commercial use the ‘Volvo FL’ electric for urban distribution and refuse operations, which can be used for other applications as well. The company will begin sale and series production of the electric truck will begin next year in Europe.

"We're 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," said Claes Nilsson (pictured above), president, Volvo Trucks.

Volvo Trucks states that demand for better air quality and less noise in the city, it will be possible to plan for better housing and infrastructure more freely than at present. The electric truck without any exhaust emissions could be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. Their low noise level will create opportunities for using the trucks to work at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.

Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE, Volvo Trucks, said: "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. 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 uptime and productivity."

Volvo Trucks states it is backing the offer on the Volvo Group's accumulated expertise in electrified transport solutions, wherein its sister company Volvo Buses has already sold more than 4,000 electrified buses since 2010. It claims that the technology used for propulsion and energy storage in the Volvo FL Electric has been thoroughly tried and tested from the outset and is supported by Volvo Trucks' far-reaching network for sales, service and parts supply.

"From experience, we know how important it is that cities, energy suppliers and vehicle manufacturers cooperate in order for large-scale electrification to become a reality. With attractive incentives, agreed standards and a long-term strategy for urban planning and expansion of the charging infrastructure, the process can go much faster," explained Jonas Odermalm (pictured above).

Volvo Trucks believes that 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 for the batteries are extracted in a responsible way, the Volvo Group works with the Drive Sustainability network, which has a special function that monitors this issue. 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 the 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," said Jonas Odermalm.

The fully electrically-powered truck that can be used for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions come with a GVW of 16 tonnes and will begin regular operation with customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks.

The first two Volvo FL electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM.  

The Off-Peak City Distribution project studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. By avoiding peak hour traffic the trucks were able to do their jobs in one-third of the time compared to daytime operation.