Volvo Trucks has introduced its first all-electric truck for commercial use – the Volvo FL Electric for urban distribution and refuse operations, among other applications. With this introduction Volvo Trucks is taking the lead in offering solutions for electrified goods transport in urban environments.
The first trucks in the new Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with two customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks, with sales and series production of the new model starting in Europe next year.
“We are 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,” says Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.
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. In addition, their low noise levels create opportunities for operation at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.
There is considerable market interest in electric trucks with many potential customers having 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. 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 with the aim, as always, to offer customers high uptime and productivity,” says Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks.
Backing the Volvo Trucks offer is the Volvo Group’s accumulated expertise in electrified transport solutions. For example, sister company, Volvo Bus, has already sold more than 4,000 hybrid or fully-electrified buses worldwide since 2010, with 2,000 in the UK alone. 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 co-operate 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,” explains Jonas Odermalm.
Volvo Trucks believes that it is essential to take a holistic view of electrification of the transport sector to handle the on-going 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 Drive Sustainably, a partnership between 10 leading automotive companies, which has a special function that monitors this issue,” adds Jonas Odermalm.
He continues, “The Volvo Group is also involved in various projects where batteries from heavy electric vehicles get a second lease of life and 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 stakeholders to drive development and create the necessary solutions.”