Volvo Trucks has introduced its first all-electric truck for commercial use, offering a transport vehicle which generates no exhaust emissions and also moves around with low noise levels. The model is the FL Electric, to go on sale in Europe next year, and it can be configured for urban distribution and refuse operations, among other applications.
“We’re immensely proud to introduce 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,” said Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.
With better air quality and less noise in the city, it is possible to plan for housing and infrastructure more freely than at present. An electric truck can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones, for example, and their low noise level creates opportunities for doing more work at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.
There is considerable market interest in electric trucks with many potential customers asking about the opportunities generated by the new technology and how it can impact their operations.
“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. 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,” said Jonas Odermalm, Head of Product Strategy (Volvo FL and Volvo FE) at Volvo Trucks.
Backing the Volvo Trucks offer is the Volvo Group’s accumulated expertise in electrified transport solutions. Sister company Volvo Buses has sold more than 4,000 electrified buses since 2010. The technology used for propulsion and energy storage in the FL Electric has been thoroughly tried and tested from the outset and is supported by Volvo Trucks’ extensive network for sales, service and parts supply in Europe.
“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,” explained Mr. Odermalm.
“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,” Mr. Odermalm explained.
Commenting on the new FL Electric Truck, Mats Nilsson, MD of Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd said: “One of our core values here at Volvo is environmental care. We want to make trucks that are not only safe and of a high quality, but also trucks that are going to ensure a greener world for future generations. We believe that innovation does not need to come at the cost of the environment. Volvo’s FL Electric truck is a shining example of the harmony between innovation and love for the environment.”
The FL model is not currently sold in Malaysia and so it is unlikely that the FL Electric will be offered anytime soon.