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Volvo Trucks introduces its first electric truck for commercial use; sales and production start next year

Volvo Trucks introduced its first battery-electric truck for commercial use: the Volvo FL Electric for urban distribution and refuse operations, among other applications. Sales and series production of the new model will start in Europe next year.

The first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers—refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM—in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks.

Electric engine

Electric drive unit for Volvo FL Electric.

The 16-tonne GVW Volvo FL Electric features a 185 kW electric motor, maximum power (130 kW continuous output); a two-speed transmission, propeller shaft, rear axle. Max torque from the electric motor is 425 N·m. Max torque on the rear axle is 16 kN·m.

The truck can be outfitted with 2-6 lithium-ion batter packs, totalling 100-300 kWh. AC charging is via the mains grid (22 kW) or DC fast charge via CCS/Combo2 for up to 150 kW.

From empty to fully charged batteries takes 1-2 hours with DC fast charging; night charge can take up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300 kWh.

An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. Their low noise level creates opportunities for doing more work at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.

FL_CALMHOUR_FINALV_01

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.

Backing the Volvo Trucks offer is the Volvo Group’s accumulated expertise in electrified transport solutions. Sister company Volvo Buses has sold more than 4000 electrified buses since 2010. 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.

—Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks

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 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.

—Jonas Odermalm

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