Volvo Trucks North America offered a first look at its Class 8 battery-electric project trucks during an exclusive event at TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana, California.
The Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) Innovation Showcase, held at Volvo Trucks’ TEC Equipment dealership’s Fontana location, revealed the progress that has been achieved since the announcement of the Volvo LIGHTS project in late 2018. (Earlier post.) Guests experienced the fully electric trucks firsthand for the first time, and learned more about electromobility and its role in freight movement solutions.
The Volvo LIGHTS project is a collaboration between 15 public and private partners to demonstrate the viability of all-electric freight hauling in high-density traffic and urban areas and represents the project’s innovative and holistic approach to ensuring commercial readiness in all aspects. The Volvo LIGHTS project’s transformative impact on fleet operations is designed to be scalable and replicable to reduce emissions throughout the freight eco-system.
The Volvo LIGHTS project was made possible by an award to South Coast AQMD of $44.8 million from CARB as part of California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Volvo Group contributed $36.7 million for the project total of $90 million, and South Coast AQMD contributed $4 million from the Clean Fuels Fund, administers the grant and oversees the Volvo LIGHTS project.
Our partnership with Volvo Group began with efforts to develop a prototype of a hybrid-electric diesel truck, something that was novel in the industry at the time. Now, we have reached a huge milestone that lays a path for the commercialization of fully electric truck technologies. These battery-electric trucks showcased today will have positive air quality impacts in local communities across our region, but especially in disadvantaged communities that need it most.—Wayne Nastri, executive officer for the South Coast AQMD
The Volvo VNR Electric project trucks will be put into real-world commercial operations with two of California’s leading freight companies, Dependable Supply Chain Services and NFI. Volvo Trucks engineers and project managers will closely monitor and evaluate the vehicles’ performance, driving cycles, load capacity, uptime, range and other parameters in these real-world applications over the next several months.
The company will take those learnings into the final stages of product development and begin the first phase of serial production and commercial offering of the Volvo VNR Electric in late 2020.
In North America, the Volvo VNR Electric is targeting short- and regional-haul applications such as heavy urban distribution, drayage and other applications where electric trucks will first have the greatest impact. By utilizing existing electromobility technology within the Volvo Group, Volvo Trucks North America was able to easily integrate those technologies into the existing VNR model, committing to and meeting a very tight project timeline and delivering the pilot trucks ahead of schedule.
Volvo LIGHTS project partner TEC Equipment will serve as a fully certified maintenance hub for the Volvo VNR Electric project trucks in the South Coast Air Basin. The dealership group is an established sales and service network that has partnered with local Rio Hondo College and San Bernardino Valley College to create electric vehicle repair and service technician programs to ensure fully trained and skilled technicians to support these new technologies. The company will also lease 15 battery-electric Volvo VNR Electric trucks to interested customers for real-world trials as part of the overall project scope, and offers a critical uptime support team for assistance with parts and service on these new electric vehicles.