Initially the launch markets will be Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands, with further markets - including the UK and Ireland - to follow at a later date.
With reduced noise levels and the absence of exhaust emissions, electric trucks offer huge potential in urban areas. Firstly, the reduced noise levels make it possible to carry out deliveries and refuse collection in early mornings, late evenings or even at night, helping to improve transport logistics and reduce congestion during peak hours. Secondly, with better air quality and low noise, electric trucks create new opportunities for city planning and road infrastructure. An electric truck can, for example be used in indoor loading areas and environmental zones.
“Global urbanisation requires urban logistics and truck transport with zero emissions and less noise with increasing urgency. With the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric we are able to meet both the strong environmental demands as well as the high commercial requirements of our customers,” says Jonas Odermalm, VP Product Line Electromobility.
One challenge is to maximise the payload at the same time as optimising the driving range. “Volvo Trucks solutions will be based on individual business needs that consider a number of parameters, such as driving cycles, load capacity and route analysis, to use the battery capacity in the most efficient way possible,” continues Jonas Odermalm.
Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric were developed in close collaboration with selected customers operating in Gothenburg, Sweden. Feedback has been very positive, and the drivers involved in the collaboration are particularly impressed by the responsive driveline, seamless acceleration and with how quiet the trucks are.
“While customer feedback has been positive,” explains Jonas Odermalm, “we do recognise that charging infrastructure is still under development in most cities and we are working alongside both public and private partners to agree on a long-term strategy for the expansion of charging infrastructure. But it’s clear that the pace of development of charging infrastructure needs to increase.”
Addressing climate change will require the availability of several driveline technologies. “Electric vehicles, charged with electricity from renewable sources, are indeed a powerful step towards more sustainable city distribution. However, there will not be one singular energy source that addresses climate change and all other environmental issues. Different types of transport require different types of driveline solutions,” concludes Jonas Odermalm.
Read more about Volvo Trucks' initiatives in the area of electromobility here
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