Volvo Trucks, one of the world's leading manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles, has started serial production of electric trucks at its Ghent plant in Belgium. The company aims to offer a complete range of electric trucks for urban and regional transport in Europe by 2021.
The first electric truck to roll off the new production line was a Volvo FL Electric, a 16-tonne model designed for city distribution, waste management, and other applications. The Volvo FL Electric has a range of up to 186 miles (300 km) and can be charged in 2.5 hours with a 250 kW DC charger or 9.5 hours with a 43 kW AC charger.
The Volvo FL Electric is one of six electric truck models that Volvo Trucks offers or plans to offer in the near future. The others are:
- The Volvo FE Electric is a 27-tonne model for heavier urban distribution and refuse transport operations.
- The Volvo FH Electric is a 44-tonne model for regional transport and intercity deliveries.
- The Volvo FM Electric is a versatile model for regional transport, construction, and urban distribution.
- The Volvo FMX Electric is a robust model for construction and mining operations.
- The Volvo VNR Electric is a regional hauler for the North American market.
Why electric trucks?
Volvo Trucks believes that electric trucks are essential for achieving a fossil-free transport system and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the company, road transport accounts for about 20% of the CO2 emissions in the European Union, and heavy-duty trucks represent a significant share of that.
By switching to electric trucks, transport operators can not only reduce their environmental impact but also improve their operational efficiency and competitiveness. Electric trucks offer lower noise levels, lower energy consumption, lower maintenance costs, and higher reliability than diesel trucks.
Moreover, electric trucks can help transport operators meet the increasing demand for sustainable and efficient urban logistics. As more people move to cities and e-commerce grows, the need for fast and reliable deliveries becomes more important. Electric trucks can operate in low-emission zones, during off-peak hours, and even indoors without disturbing residents or customers.