Volvo Blasts Into Electric Trucks With New Garbage & Delivery Trucks

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Volvo has announced two new fully-electric trucks designed to step in and take the place of urban delivery and refuse collection vehicles which are common sources of diesel emissions in cities around the world. Both will be available in the European market in 2019.

“With the introduction of the Volvo FE Electric we have a comprehensive range of electrically powered trucks for city operations and are taking yet another strategic step forward in the development of our total offer in electrified transport solutions. This opens the door to new forms of cooperation with cities that target to improve air quality, reduce traffic noise, and cut congestion during peak hours since commercial operations can instead be carried out quietly and without tale-pipe exhaust emissions early in the morning or late at night,” says Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.

Many European cities are exploring the possibility of limiting the use of internal combustion vehicles in the next few years, with talks of a full-blown ban on diesel-powered vehicles already well underway in many more cities. Stuttgart is on the forefront of the battle for clean air and has implemented an alarm system that triggers based on forecasted weather and traffic conditions when high levels of particulate are expected.

A desire for clean air for citizens is creating market conditions that add fuel fire for many companies considering converting fleets to the already cost-competitive electric fleet vehicles, and Volvo wants in on the game.

Volvo has played in the heavy vehicle space for years and sees its fully-electric truck offerings as competitive with its internal combustion counterparts. Nilsson continued, “We believe that the technology today is mature when it comes to performance, range and weight in these type of applications in city use.”

Volvo noted that these are just the first in a range of fully-electric Volvo trucks that are designed for mainstream applications. That’s an exciting announcement from one of the premiere builders of trucks in the world.

The Volvo FL Electric Truck

The Volvo FL Electric is the smaller sibling in Volvo’s small electric truck family, with a GVW of 16 tonnes. Just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean it will have a small impact — if anything, it’s the opposite. This Class 4 offering sits at the sweet spot for many delivery companies, especially those operating in urban environments.

That makes it a great option for more customers, eliminating more emissions in more cities around the world. In addition to traditional use cases, this fully electric delivery truck platform can bring its loads directly to the point of use — even if that means going directly into a building. That’s one of a number of growing applications for electric vehicles that fleet managers and businesses are only now getting to explore, thanks to electric powertrains.

Additionally, zero-emission vehicles are nearly silent, which allows them to operate in locations and times of the day when their noisy internal combustion vehicle counterparts are unable to operate due to noise restrictions.

Volvo is moving into the electric truck space after building more than 4,000 electrified buses. It is from this experience that Volvo is looking at the entire supply chain with regards to battery sourcing and end-of-life or second life disposition.

“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 Sustainably 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.

The first of Volvo’s FL Electric trucks are being tested in regular operations with customers in Volvo’s home town of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo FL Electric Specs

  • Fully electric truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 16 tonnes.
  • Drivetrain: Electric motor with 185 kW max power (130 kW cont. power) with a Volvo 2-speed transmission. Max torque electric motor 425 Nm. Max torque rear axle 16 kNm.
  • Energy storage: Lithium-ion batteries from 100–300 kWh
  • Range: Up to 300 kilometers | 185 miles
  • Charging: CCS2: Maximum charge power 150 kW DC. Low Power Charging: Maximum charge power 22 kW AC.
  • Charging time from empty to fully charged 300kWh battery pack:
    • DC Fast Charging: 1-2 hours
    • AC Charging: up to 10 hours

The Volvo FE Electric Truck

Volvo has partnered with the leading garbage collection truck bodybuilder, Faun, on its fully-electric Volvo FE Electric refuse truck, and it already has its first customer lined up. The new truck will hit the streets in Hamburg, Germany, to put Volvo’s electric chops to the test to see if its tech will hold up to real-world conditions. The FE Electric Truck is a distribution-sized truck that can handle gross weights of up to 27 tonnes and offers transporters a serious fully-electric Class 7 truck option.

Upgrading urban fleets from their traditional heavy, diesel-powered vehicles to fully electric vehicles improves both the city environment and the working environment for vehicle operators. Eliminating the need to burn fossil fuels to move loads around means less pollution for city residents and gets rid of the annoying chatter of combustion engines in all areas of the city.

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Siechau, CEO of Stadtreinigung Hamburg, sees large potential for environmental benefits with electric trucks in Hamburg.

“Today, each of our 300 conventional refuse vehicles emits approximately 31,300 kg carbon dioxide every year. An electrically powered refuse truck with battery that stands a full shift of eight to ten hours is a breakthrough in technology.”

What’s less obvious is the benefit to the drivers, as they are no longer passengers on an industrial-sized hunk of metal that spends hours combusting nasty fuels, spewing emissions into the cabin and surrounding air. Instead, drivers are put in control of a powertrain that is nearly silent and free from the constant vibration that they had grown so accustomed to.

Volvo FE Electric Specs

  • Fully electrically-powered truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 27 tonnes.
  • Driveline: Two electric motors with 370 kW max power (260 kW cont. power) with a Volvo 2-speed transmission. Max torque electric motors 850 Nm. Max torque rear axle 28 kNm.
  • Energy storage: Lithium-ion batteries, 200–300 kWh.
  • Range: Up to 200 km
  • Charging: Two different charging systems are available. CCS2: Maximum charge power 150 kW DC. Low Power Charging: Maximum charge power 22 kW AC.
  • Charging time from empty to fully charged 300kWh battery pack:
    • DC Fast Charging @ 150kW: approximately 1.5 hours
    • AC Charging @ 22kW: approximately 10 hours

Source: Volvo FE Electric | Volvo FL Electric

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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