New range of electric trucks will reduce operating costs while blending silently into society. Picture: SUPPLIED
New range of electric trucks will reduce operating costs while blending silently into society. Picture: SUPPLIED 

From March 2020, Volvo Trucks reports it will start with sales of its new Volvo FL and Volvo FE electric ranges in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

Positive effects cited outside of the usual zero-emissions credentials is reduced noise levels that now make it possible for carrying out refuse collection and distributions, the targeted applications for the 16-tonne GVW Volvo FL Electric and 27-tonne Volvo FE Electric trucks and other urban transport usage, early in the morning or deep in the night.

This will not only keep the inner city peace in terms of noise, but also improve operational efficiency by working in highly reduced traffic congestion.

Furthermore, Volvo says with silent trucks it will create new opportunities whereby its electric trucks can be also used in indoor loading areas and environmental zones.

One of the challenges of electric trucks is batteries and motors that eat up payload. According to Jonas Odermalm, vice-president of product line electromobility at Volvo, the company counters this with individual business needs that consider a number of parameters, such as driving cycles, load capacity and route analysis, to use the battery capacity in the most efficient way possible.

The new duo of silent trucks was developed in close collaboration with selected customers operating in Gothenburg, Sweden. Feedback has been very positive, and the drivers involved in the collaboration have been impressed by the responsive driveline, seamless acceleration and how quiet the trucks are.

Addressing climate change would require the availability of several driveline technologies, Odermalm conceded.  

“Electric vehicles, charged with electricity from renewable sources, are indeed a powerful step towards more sustainable city distribution. However, there will not be one singular energy source that addresses climate change and all other environmental issues. Different types of transport require different types of driveline solutions,” Odermalm said

“While customer feedback has been positive,” Odermalm said, “we do recognise that charging infrastructure is still under development in most cities and we are working alongside both public and private partners to agree on a long-term strategy for the expansion of charging infrastructure. But it’s clear that the pace of development of charging infrastructure needs to increase,” he said.