Volvo Trucks’ future in electric trucks appears on the horizon in Europe and growing ever closer to reality in the North American market, as the truck maker announced that it will start selling electric trucks in Europe in 2019, with the first units being put into operation with select customers later this year.
While making the recent announcement, the company also said that work continues toward the commercialization of electric trucks in North America continues as advancements in battery technology accelerate viability for North American duty cycles and energy demands for a broad range of applications.
“Electromobility is fully in line with Volvo Trucks’ long-term commitment to sustainable urban development and zero emissions,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “By using electrically powered and quieter trucks for goods transport in urban areas, we meet several challenges simultaneously. Without disturbing noise and exhaust gases, it will be possible to operate in more city centers. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and night. This will reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utilized far more effectively than today.
“Urban distribution and other pickup and delivery applications are a starting point for battery-powered electric trucks, but we envision broader deployment of electric trucks for freight movement in North America as technologies and the market mature.”
Volvo said the electric trucks help drastically reduce noise and exhaust emissions while creating new opportunities to manage logistics, such as increasing night transport assignments and less traffic on the road during rush hour.
“Volvo’s technology and deep understanding of electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already used in Volvo’s electric buses, and solutions introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010,” said Keith Brandis, Volvo Trucks North America vice president for product planning. “Electric vehicles will be part of our future, but the vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of batteries and charging infrastructure, and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for battery-powered electric trucks.”