Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Tokyo — Volvo Trucks plans to share battery technology across its brands to tame development and production costs for the crucial but expensive component, as the world’s second-largest truck maker ramps up electric offerings.

As vehicle makers face growing costs to develop lower-emission vehicles and automated driving capabilities, Volvo Trucks, owned by Sweden’s Volvo, said it would "absolutely" make sense for its brands, which include Japan’s UD Trucks and Mack Trucks in the US, to share battery technology.

"We’re really striving to reuse a lot when it comes to expensive components, which are expensive when it comes to development and production costs ... not only between the truck brands but also the bus brands and construction equipment," Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer at Volvo Group Trucks Technology, said. "We can get high volumes when we re-use components across the group."

UD Trucks said it planned to launch an all-battery electric version of its Quon heavy-duty truck in about 2020, after Volvo Trucks earlier in April said it would launch lithium-ion battery powered, medium-duty trucks for deliveries and refuse collection in Europe in 2019.

"Since we share technologies and platforms, it won’t be difficult for us to do this," said Douglas Nakano, senior vice-president of UD Trucks Technology.

Japanese rival Mitsubishi Fuso began selling an electric version of its Canter delivery trucks in Japan and the US in 2017, expanding into Europe earlier in 2018

Volkswagen’s truck division has reportedly said it plans to launch a medium-duty truck in North America by late 2019.