Thinking of changing to an electric truck for city transports? Here are some questions to consider.

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Electric trucks have become reality and a necessity for many transport assignments. Are you operating in urban areas and need some guidance in your next step into electrified transport solutions? Here are some questions to consider.

What are your transport assignments?

Thanks to their low noise and emission levels, electric trucks are ideal to operate in residential areas and city environments, such as for urban transport of waste collection, consumables and light construction works.

How heavy is the load you are carrying?

The bigger the payload, the more batteries are needed to cover any given distance. However, batteries add to your total weight and the weight influences the range. This should be considered for example in construction and waste management applications. According to a directive by the European Union, one extra tonne can be allowed for alternative fuelled vehicles to compensate for the extra weight. At Volvo Trucks we make realistic route simulations to ensure that you’re able to carry out your assignment when specifying the truck.

How far do you need to drive?

Electric trucks can currently travel 70 to 300 km on an overnight charge depending on the application. Planning longer distance assignments obviously means scheduling further charging at specific locations along the way, in sync with driver times.

What are your charging options?

Initially we believe that the majority of trucks will be charged at the customer’s home base overnight. Additional fast DC chargers are becoming an interesting option in two shift operations. As electric vehicles become more common, there will also be the need and the opportunity to charge them in many different places, such as gas stations, loading bays, service workshops, truck stops and other places where trucks are parked. When we supply a truck at Volvo Trucks, charging equipment is included and we assess the route carefully with the customer and calculate where charging will be needed to meet the transport requirements.

Are you willing to invest in route planning and driver training?

To get the best out of an electric truck it must be driven in a way to recuperate energy and maximize range. To help drivers use electric powertrain technology in the most efficient way a training course and tools to help plan economical routes for your vehicles can be a worthwhile investment.

Will electric trucks help your brand image and help improve your business?

As a quieter, more sustainable option, electric trucks can help you lower your carbon footprint, boost your image and win contracts with customers or government agencies that have strong sustainability goals. A quieter and high-tech vehicle could also be a big draw for drivers, who are a scarce resource. If marketing and image building is a priority, electromobility might be a good option for you.

Are you looking to do night-time urban deliveries?

Many major cities are seeing an increase in nighttime deliveries using quieter electric trucks. The flexibility it offers businesses not burdened by having to dispatch trucks in morning rush hour is attractive, allowing resources to be spread more economically. Reducing peak traffic volumes and noise pollution are priorities for city authorities worldwide.

Are electric trucks a profitable choice?

New business opportunities are becoming available for companies that want to be able to transport goods to locations and at times that are not possible with fossil-fuel trucks. A growing number of cities are planning to introduce zero emission zones where only electric vehicles are permitted. Taxes are also being discussed which will support the transition to a more CO2-neutral society. More companies employing electric trucks are becoming involved in green partnerships, which can have a knock-on effect for business.

Are you ready to take the next step into electrified transport solutions? Contact your local dealer to learn more about opportunities for your business.

Jarkko Aine

Jarkko Aine works as Director for Electric Solutions at Volvo Trucks

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