Canadian Manufacturing

Volvo’s FL Electric commercial truck could thrive in urban settings

Volvo says its experience making and selling 4,000 electric buses since 2010 means it has a leg up on other truck makers' electric offerings


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An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. PHOTO: Volvo Trucks

GOTHENBURG, Sweden—Volvo Trucks’s first all-electric truck for commercial use, the Volvo FL Electric, was designed for urban distribution and refuse operations.

Sales and series production of the new model will start in Europe next year.

“We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic,” says Claes Nilsson, president, Volvo Trucks. “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.”

An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. Low noise creates opportunities for doing more work at night, reducing the burden on the roads during the day.

“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,” says 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 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,” explains Jonas Odermalm.

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 Sustainability 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,” says Jonas Odermalm.

Specification for the Volvo FL Electric truck:

  • 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.
  • The first two Volvo FL Electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM.
  • The Off Peak City Distribution project studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. By avoiding peak hour traffic the trucks were able to do their jobs in one-third of the time compared to daytime operation.

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