Volvo has confirmed it will begin sales of electric trucks in Europe in 2019, with the first units being put into operation with selected reference customers later this year.
As well as reducing CO2 emissions, Volvo sees the introduction of electric vehicles as an opportunity to reduce the number of trucks operating in peak hours.
Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, said, “By using electrically-powered and quieter trucks for distribution in urban areas, we meet several challenges simultaneously. Without noise and exhaust emissions, deliveries could take place outside peak periods, like for example in the late evening or at night. This would reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utilised far more effectively than today.”
A research project conducted by Stockholm City and KTH Royal Institute of Technology studied the effects of goods distribution at night in central Stockholm, and found that avoiding peak-time traffic resulted in transport assignments being completed in one third of the time. A 26-tonne distribution truck has more than ten times the capacity of a 3.5 tonne van, therefore a single truck operating at a time when there are fewer other vehicles on the road also has the potential to reduce the likelihood of accidents.
Jonas Odermalm, Head of Product Strategy for medium duty vehicles at Volvo Trucks, said, “Our technology and know-how within electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already in use on Volvo’s electric buses and solutions that were introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010. However, the vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of charging infrastructure and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for electrical trucks.”