Increased range for next generation Volvo e-trucks
By Mike Brezonick13 January 2022
Volvo Trucks North America continues to deploy its Class 8 zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles for the North American trucking industry with ongoing deliveries of its Volvo VNR Electric model to fleets across the country. Now the company has announced that production of an enhanced Volvo VNR Electric truck will begin in the second quarter and the new vehicles will offer up to 85% increased range, faster charging, and even more configurations for heavy-duty transport.
Volvo Trucks first began taking customer orders for its first Volvo VNR Electric model in December 2020, with commercial production starting in the second quarter of 2021 at the company’s New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va. Over the past year, Volvo Trucks has delivered the Volvo VNR Electric to customers in several states across the U.S., collecting operating data with an aim to continually improve the technology to increase the efficiency of the truck under varying operating conditions. The result is the next generation Volvo VNR Electric, which is now available for order.
“It is a testament to Volvo Trucks’ leadership that in a continuously evolving industry we are bringing the enhanced version of our VNR Electric to the market a year after sales of the VNR Electric first started,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “Volvo Trucks is at the forefront in the industry, always innovating and improving, while upholding the highest standards in design, construction and safety. Our team is proud of its role, together with dealers and customers, in accelerating the shift to electromobility and a more sustainable future.”
Volvo said the enhanced Volvo VNR Electric’s improvements lie in the battery technology – the design, management and package. Improvements in battery design have resulted in an up to 40% increase in storage capacity for each battery, the company said. A dedicated Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) was added to manage and maintain ideal environmental temperatures.
Volvo Trucks has also introduced a new six-battery package option. Combining all three provides an increased energy storage capacity of up to 565 kWh and offers an operational range of up to 275 miles. Regenerative braking energy is also captured and fed back into the system to maximize energy efficiency and driving range, the company said.
The enhanced Volvo VNR Electric also reduces the required charging time, as a 250 kW charging capability provides an 80% charge in 90 minutes for the six-battery package and 60 minutes for the four-battery version.
Volvo Trucks has added two new configurations to its VNR Electric lineup — a 6x4 straight truck and a 6x4 tractor — joining its three existing models: 4x2 tractor, 6x2 tractor and single-axle straight truck. Each Volvo VNR Electric configuration is designed for applications and drive cycles with local and regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage, drayage, and pickup and delivery routes.
“Volvo Trucks is continuing to expand the capabilities of the VNR Electric to make it more efficient, satisfy our customer demands for expanded range, and provide a better driving experience,” said Andy Brown, Volvo Trucks’ product marketing manager for electromobility. “The electric driveline featuring a two-speed I-Shift transmission provides best-in-class, powerful, and smooth acceleration. Innovations such as Volvo Active Driver Assist and Dynamic Steering make driving effortless and precise, while at the same time improving safety.”
Volvo Trucks is supporting customers in their electromobility transition by expanding its network of Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) dealerships that consult with fleets that are considering making the investment in the Volvo VNR Electric. The company certified dealers in California and New York and is working with numerous dealerships throughout North America to finalize their certifications.