Volvo debuts second-gen all-electric truck
Six battery-powered heavy trucks include the enhanced VNR Metal Tech News - January 19, 2022
Last updated 2/1/2022 at 2:57pm
In keeping with the green energy transition trend, Volvo Trucks Jan. 14 announced the launch of its next iteration Volvo VNR Electric – one of six all-electric heavy truck models offered by the company – with the VNR specifically designed for the North American market.
In preparation for the launch, the company conducted testing of another one of its all-electric trucks, the Volvo FH Electric, a zero-exhaust emission vehicle with 490 kilowatts of continuous power and a gross combination weight of 40 metric tons.
German trucking journalist, Jan Burgdorf, had the pleasure of testing the truck on the Green Truck Route, a 343-kilometer- (213 miles) long route that includes a variety of motorways, hilly terrains, and tighter roads that are used for testing different manufacturer's trucks in a wide range of conditions.
"I have to say, when driving this truck it is as agile, or even more agile, than a diesel truck," said Burgdorf. "Drivers will be very surprised about how easy it is to drive, how quiet it is and how well it responds. There are no vibrations whatsoever."
The Volvo FH Electric kept an average speed of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour over the entire ride, which is roughly on par with the Volvo FH equipped with a diesel engine. Based on the energy consumption of 1.1 kWh/km, the electric truck had a total range of 345 km (214 mi) on one charge.
"These test results show that it is possible to drive up to 500 km (311 mi) during a regular work-day, with a short stop for charging, for example during lunch time," explained Tobias Bergman, press test director at Volvo Trucks.
In the Green Truck Route tests, the Volvo FH Electric used 50% less energy than the comparable diesel engine.
"The electric driveline is very efficient, making the all-electric truck a very powerful tool for reducing CO2 emissions," added Bergman.
With the verification of one of its latest lineups proved, Volvo Trucks has pressed forward with launching the next iteration of its Volvo VNR Electric, with sales having been underway for the first generation since December 2020.
The first generation of Volvo VNR had an operating range of up to 240 (150 mi). The latest enhanced version of the class 8 (gross vehicle weight rating of 15 tons and above) electric truck has an operational range of 440 km (275 mi) and increased energy storage of up to 565 kWh.
The improved performance is due in part to its improved battery design and a new six battery option.
"It is a testament to Volvo Trucks' leadership in a continuously evolving industry that we are bringing the enhanced version of our VNR Electric to the market only a year after sales of our VNR Electric first started," said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.
The new Volvo VNR also significantly reduces charging time, as the 250 kW charging capability provides an 80% charge in 90 minutes for the six-battery package and 60 minutes for the four-battery version.
Although testing was carried out on the FH model, Volvo's series of six all-electric trucks are designed to cover many different transport assignments.
The Volvo FH, FM, and FMX Electric models have a GCW of up to 44 metric tons, with sales currently underway. Production is expected in the latter half of 2022.
Serial production in Europe of the Volvo FL and FE Electric for city distribution and refuse handling began in 2019, with the first generation VNR Electric available in North America since 2020.
Globally, Volvo Trucks has set the target that half of all trucks its sells are electric by 2030.
"We are determined to lead the transformation of the transport industry," said Volvo Trucks President Roger Alm. "In only eight years' time, our goal is that half of our global truck sales are electric."
Production of the enhanced Volvo VNR Electric will start in the second quarter of 2022 at the company's New River Valley plant in Virginia, which is the exclusive producer of all Volvo trucks in North America.
"We are committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Science-based targets have been set and we are taking action to fast-forward the development to dramatically lower CO2 emissions related to on-road freight transports," said Bergman. "I believe that the broad electric range we already have on the market is very clear proof of that."