Volvo announces their first Illinois electric truck dealer

Volvo Trucks North America electric VNR Illinois
Volvo Trucks North America

Volvo Trucks North America announced this week that Gateway Truck & Refrigeration became the first Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealership in Illinois.

Gateway has been in business for more than 30 years and operates two Volvo Trucks dealership locations in Collinsville, Illinois and Wright City, Missouri. According to VTNA, the Collinsville, Illinois, location is Gateway’s headquarters and was chosen as the first location to certify due its proximity to the St. Louis, Missouri market.

Given the anticipated market demand for battery-electric trucks, Gateway is designing and building a new facility west of St. Louis that will support battery-electric trucks and will be its second Volvo Truck Certified EV Dealership.

“Volvo Trucks continues to lead the shift toward sustainable transport solutions and has worked closely with our dealer network for several years now to build out the electromobility ecosystem needed to support the growing adoption of the Volvo VNR Electric truck,” said Jeremy Taylor, VTNA’s regional vice president – central region. “It’s exciting to see Gateway Truck & Refrigeration committed to building a new facility purposely designed to support battery-electric trucks, a telltale sign that the market is anticipated to grow significantly in the coming years.” 

Gateway has already sold 46 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, with 10 having been delivered to its customer, Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) which were deployed in QCD’s Southern California fleet operations delivering products to restaurants and coffee shops. QCD’s remaining 35 Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be built and delivered throughout 2023 and 2024.

Gateway also worked with customer Artur Express, a nationwide transportation and logistics company to deploy the first Volvo VNR Electric truck domiciled in the central region with a home base in St. Louis. 

Volvo Trucks Certified EV dealerships support customers throughout the electromobility cycle including a total cost of ownership analysis, funding, procurement, installment and overall operations. Sales teams have access to a variety of route planning and connected technology tools designed to help customers maximize the performance capabilities and benefits of the zero-tailpipe emission Volvo VNR Electric model. 

“Battery-electric vehicles are still new to the Class 8 market, and the team at Gateway Truck & Refrigeration strives to be a leader in the shift, especially when our customers look to us to guide them through the purchase, maintenance and operation of a new technology which will make such an impact in their business,” said Zach Wagner, dealer principal, Gateway Truck & Refrigeration. “Recognizing the different requirements of battery-electric trucks from traditional diesel counterparts, we liked the idea of starting from the ground up with our new facility and designing it to give our customers the service and support they need to succeed in their electromobility transition.” 

Volvo Trucks designed its Volvo Trucks Certified EV Dealer program to ensure technicians understand the proper safety procedures when servicing electric drivetrains and components. Gateway has four technicians at its Collinsville location who are certified to work on the Volvo VNR Electric and have been outfitted with the personal protective equipment necessary to work with high-voltage systems.

Certification also includes investments in diagnostics tools, so Gateway has outfitted one dedicated service bay with the equipment needed to safely perform battery-electric truck maintenance and repairs. Volvo Trucks Certified EV Dealers also maintain a stock of key parts and components for the VNR Electric model to minimize service times and quickly get customers back on the road. 

“The electromobility transition is more than purchasing a truck, and the Volvo Trucks Dealer Development team — led by David Thomasma — made it easy for us to complete our EV certification,” Wagner said. “Now we are able to really understand our customers’ businesses and provide the most effective solutions for integrating battery-electric vehicles into their fleet, enabling customers to maximize their success with the technology. The Certified Electric Vehicle Dealership process was very smooth and included scheduled monthly calls and textbook guidelines and groundwork for all our employees to follow.”