Volvo VNR Electric Trucks to Roll out in California Demos


Volvo Trucks has announced more details on the upcoming rollout of all-electric regional-haul demonstrators in California next year.

The vehicles, dubbed the Volvo VNR Electric, will be tested in distribution, regional-haul and drayage operations. Sales of the VNR Electric in North America will begin in 2020, the automaker says. 

“We are proud to announce the Volvo VNR Electric, designed to support cities focused on sustainable urban development and fleets operating in a range of regional-haul and distribution operations,” states Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “The Volvo VNR Electric leverages the versatility of the new Volvo VNR series with a proven, fully electric powertrain and represents a strategic stride toward a comprehensive electrified transport ecosystem.”

The demonstration units will be based on propulsion and energy storage technology currently being used in the Volvo FE Electric. Sister company Volvo Buses has sold more than 4,000 electrified buses since 2010.

“The Volvo VNR is ideal for applications like heavy urban distribution, drayage and other regional applications where electric trucks will first have the greatest impact,” notes Johan Agebrand, Volvo Trucks North America’s director of product marketing. “The VNR series has received tremendous industry acceptance since its April 2017 introduction, and the addition of an all-electric powertrain provides even greater opportunities to expand its footprint in the regional-haul market.”

The introduction of the Volvo VNR Electric models is part of a partnership known as LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) between the Volvo Group, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and other industry stakeholders in transportation and electrical charging infrastructure.

“The LIGHTS project is a truly unique opportunity to showcase a holistic approach to electrification of the freight transport industry as we handle ongoing challenges including electricity generation and battery optimization,” adds Voorhoeve. 

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has preliminarily awarded $44.8 million to SCAQMD for the Volvo LIGHTS project, involving 16 partners. Volvo LIGHTS is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts cap-and-trade dollars to work in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

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