Volvo Launching E-Trucks In North America, Europe
By Mike Brezonick05 November 2020
Next month and next year, depending on geography, customers in North America and Europe will be able to order all-electric Volvo trucks.
Volvo Trucks North America announced it will begin selling the Volvo VNR Electric truck on Dec. 3. The company will begin producing the Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric model at its New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia in early 2021.
“Volvo Trucks is committed to lead the commercial transport industry towards more sustainable solutions by advancing electromobility,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “We will continue to invest in and drive the development of this technology, both globally and right here in North America.
“We are excited to bring the Volvo VNR Electric to the market in just a few weeks.”
Next year, haulers in Europe will be able to order all-electric versions of Volvo’s complete range of heavy-duty trucks. Volvo Trucks is now running tests of the electric heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks, which will be used for regional transport and urban construction operations in Europe. These trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration the range could be up to 300 km.
Sales will begin next year and volume production will start in 2022. This means that from 2021 onwards Volvo Trucks will sell a complete range of battery-electric trucks in Europe for distribution, refuse, regional transport and urban construction operations.
“By rapidly increasing the number of heavy-duty electric trucks, we want to help our customers and transport buyers to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals,” said Roger Alm, president Volvo Trucks. “We’re determined to continue driving our industry towards a sustainable future.”
Volvo Trucks started manufacturing the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric, intended for city distribution and refuse operations, primarily in Europe, in 2019. Electric vehicles for demanding and heavy long-haul operations will follow in this decade. These will be battery-electric and fuel cell electric trucks with a longer range. Volvo Trucks aims to start selling electric trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells in the second half of this decade. Volvo Trucks’ objective is for its entire product range to be fossil-free by 2040.
“To reduce the impact of transport on the climate, we need to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to alternatives such as electricity,” Alm said. “But the conditions for making this shift, and consequently the pace of the transition, vary dramatically across different hauliers and markets, depending on many variables such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and type of transport operations.”
For that reason, most transport companies will change over to electric operation in stages. In practice, many of them will have a mixed fleet of trucks powered by different fuels during a transition period.
“Our chassis are designed to be independent of the driveline used,” Alm said. “Our customers can choose to buy several Volvo trucks of the same model, with the only difference being that some are electric and others are powered by gas or diesel. As regards product characteristics, such as the driver’s environment, reliability and safety, all our vehicles meet the same high standards. Drivers should feel familiar with their vehicles and be able to operate them safely and efficiently regardless of the fuel used.”