In 2019, Volvo Trucks will officially start selling electric medium-duty trucks in Europe, although the automaker notes the first units will be put into operation with a few select customers this year. Furthermore, the company says work toward commercialization of electric trucks in North America is ongoing as advancements in battery technology accelerate viability for North American duty cycles and energy demands for a broad range of applications.
According to Volvo Trucks, electric trucks drastically reduce noise and exhaust emissions and create new opportunities to manage logistics.
“Electromobility is fully in line with Volvo Trucks’ long-term commitment to sustainable urban development and zero emissions,” says 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 sensitive city centers. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and at 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.”
Nyburg adds, “Urban distribution and other pick-up 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.”
Keith Brandis, Volvo Trucks North America’s vice president for product planning, says, “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.
“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.” Brandi continues. “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.”
In its announcement, Volvo Trucks did not provide additional details about the vehicles or a potential timeline for when it might introduce its electric trucks to the North American market.
Photo courtesy of Volvo Trucks