Volvo Trucks North America is introducing two new technology tools to support customers in successfully deploying Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 models into their fleet operations. The new route planning and connected technology tools are designed to help customers maximize the performance capabilities and benefits of the zero-tailpipe emission Volvo VNR Electric model.
In January 2022, Volvo Trucks announced enhancements to its Volvo VNR Electric model, including a six-battery package option with an increased energy storage of up to 565 kWh and an operational range of up to 275 miles. The next-generation Volvo VNR Electric, which will enter production in Q2 2022, is available in multiple configurations, including a 6×4 straight truck, 6×4 tractor, 6×2 tractor, 4×2 tractor and single-axle straight truck.
To help customers identify the ideal Volvo VNR Electric configuration to support local and regional distribution routes, Volvo Trucks has designed a route planning tool, the Electric Performance Generator (EPG), as an extension of its connectivity platform. The EPG application enables fleet managers to simulate real-world routes for their VNR Electric trucks, taking into consideration the vehicle configuration and battery capacity, environmental factors such as terrain and ambient temperature, and specific route details, including traffic patterns. Based on estimated energy consumption, the EPG tool will indicate if an opportunity charge would be required, allowing the fleet manager to either adjust the route or plan ahead for a charging event.
Fleet operators that are interested in utilizing the EPG tool to evaluate ideal routes to deploy the Volvo VNR Electric can work with the local sales representatives at Volvo Trucks Certified EV Dealerships, currently available in the U.S. in California, New York, Virginia, and additionally in Quebec, Canada, with dealerships in several additional states finalizing their certifications throughout 2022. Volvo Trucks customers who are currently operating VNR Electrics will be able to access the EPG tool, which leverages Volvo Trucks’ connectivity platform to integrate with its Remote Diagnostics and battery health monitoring services, to plan for optimized daily operation of their Volvo VNR Electric trucks.
Volvo Trucks has also introduced connected technology solutions from telematics provider Geotab to provide fleet managers with full visibility into the real-time performance of their Volvo VNR Electric fleet. Via cloud integration, data from each truck is migrated to the MyGeotab platform using the Volvo Telematics Gateway that comes factory installed in every Volvo VNR Electric. Fleet managers will have access to the data through the online portal where they can view the current location of their Volvo VNR Electric fleet on a map, including whether the vehicles are driving or parked (within pre-set geofence locations). They receive notifications for truck departure and arrival, including the odometer and state of charge. They can set alerts to notify the fleet operations team of the vehicles’ current state of charge, including warnings for low charge as well as see energy consumption reports and measurement charts. In addition, they can monitor the vehicles’ charging status, including whether it is connected to the charger, actively charging, completed charging or if charging is interrupted.
“Introducing battery-electric trucks into a fleet can come with a steep learning curve for both the fleet manager and drivers as they work to navigate the difference in range and fueling time compared to their diesel fleet,” says Andy Brown, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks North America. “These new tools enable fleet managers to find the sweet spot for how to incorporate Volvo VNR Electrics into their operations today and as their battery-electric fleet grows.”
These new technology solutions will be introduced in 2022 and come standard as part of the Volvo Gold Contract, Volvo Trucks’ premier service offering for the Volvo VNR Electric model. The Volvo Gold Contract is a turn-key solution that allows customers to have operational peace of mind with electric vehicles and includes the full Uptime Services bundle for the Volvo VNR Electric, combining Volvo Trucks’ battery monitoring service with its trusted Remote Diagnostics, Volvo Action Service and ASIST via the Volvo Trucks 24/7 Uptime Center.