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Volvo Trucks’ first electric trucks going to work in Europe next year
hwtstaff | April 15, 2018

Volvo Trucks recently introduced its first all-electric truck which will be used in pickup and delivery, refuse and recycling and other applications in Europe next year.

The Volvo FL, which offers up to a 186-mile range through a 185kW motor, can be charged in one to two hours with a DC fast charger or in 10 hours with AC charging.

“We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic. With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports,” says Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.

Volvo reports that its zero emissions electric trucks can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones, and the motor’s low noise levels allow for more nighttime jobs which means having fewer trucks on congested European streets during the day.

Growing market interest in electric trucks has prompted Volvo to help customers make the switch.

“In order to make the transition secure and smooth, we will offer holistic solutions based on each customer’s individual needs regarding driving cycles, load capacity, uptime, range and other parameters,” said Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks.

“Such a solution may encompass everything from route analysis and battery optimisation to servicing and financing. Volvo Trucks works closely with several suppliers of charging equipment. The aim as always is to offer customers high uptime and productivity.”

Backing Volvo Trucks entrance into electric powertrains is the Volvo Group’s experience with its more than 4000 electrified buses which it began selling in 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,” Odermalm explained.

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 Sustainably 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,” Odermalm said.

The first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks.

Volvo FL specs:

  • Fully electrically-powered truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 16 tonnes.
  • Driveline: 185 kW electric motor, max power/130 kW continuous output, two speed transmission, propeller shaft, rear axle. Max torque electric motor 425 Nm. Max torque rear axle 16 kNm.
  • Energy storage: 2-6 lithium-ion batteries, totalling 100–300 kWh.
  • Range: Up to 300 km.
  • Charging: AC charging via the mains grid (22 kW) or DC fast charge via CCS/Combo2 for up to 150 kW.
  • Recharging time: From empty to fully charged batteries: fast charge 1-2 hours (DC charging), night charge up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300 kWh.

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