Volvo Trucks believes the time is right for commercial fleets to electrify heavy road transport.
The manufacturer says that large national and international operators are showing strong interest in electric vehicles (EVs), driven by their own ambitious climate goals, as well as consumers’ demand for decarbonisation and cleaner transport solutions.
Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks, explained: “More and more transport companies are realising they need to start their electrification journey right now, both with the environment in mind and for competitive reasons to satisfy customer requirements for sustainable shipping.
“With Volvo Trucks’ wide and deep offering, it is totally feasible for far more transport companies to go electric.”
Electric heavy-duty trucks
With sales starting of the new electric Volvo FH and FM models, Volvo Trucks argues that electrification is now possible not only for urban areas but also for regional traffic between cities.
Furthermore, it says that the new electric Volvo FMX model is creating new ways to make construction transport operations both quieter and cleaner.
"There is huge potential to electrify truck transports in Europe," Roger Alm, Volvo Trucks
Production of the new electric models for Europe will start next year. They join the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric for urban transport that have been in serial production since 2019 for the same market.
With the addition of the new products with higher load capacities, more powerful drivelines and range of up to 300km (186 miles), Volvo Trucks’ electric portfolio can cover around 45% of all goods transported in Europe today, it says.
“There is huge potential to electrify truck transports in Europe, and also in other parts of the world, in the very near future,” said Alm.
“To prove this, we have set the ambitious goal to have electric trucks account for at least half of our sales in Europe by 2030. And these three new heavy-duty trucks we are now launching mark a giant step towards reaching this target.”
Hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks
Looking further ahead, Volvo Trucks says that long-distance heavy transport will be able to be completed on electric power.
To meet these challenging demands for both high load capacity and a much longer range, Volvo Trucks plans to use hydrogen fuel cells to generate the electricity.
“This technology is developing rapidly and our ambition is also to make the long driving distances electrified, using both batteries and fuel cells,” continued Alm.
“Our aim is to start selling fuel-cell electric trucks in the second part of this decade and we are confident we can make this happen.”
Europe’s truck-makers have agreed to work together to help create the right conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks.
Iveco, Daimler and Volvo have joined forces with energy companies Shell and OMV to form H2Accelerate. They say hydrogen will be an essential fuel for the complete decarbonisation of the truck sector.