Volvo Trucks to develop heavy-duty electric concept trucks for construction and regional transport

In News, Volvo3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 13, 2019

After introducing electric trucks for urban transport, Volvo Trucks believes electrification can also become a competitive alternative for heavier trucks.

Volvo Trucks has developed electric concept trucks for construction and regional distribution, and with these electric concept vehicles, the company will explore, demonstrate and evaluate different solutions, and measure the level of interest in society and the market.

“We see great potential for heavy-duty electric trucks for regional transport and construction in the longer term,” says Volvo Trucks president Roger Alm. “To increase demand for electrified trucks, the charging infrastructure needs to be rapidly expanded, while stronger financial incentives must be created for hauliers who act as pioneers by choosing new vehicles with a lower environmental and climate footprint.”  

Heavy-duty electric trucks can help improve the work environment for drivers and construction workers thanks to low noise level and zero exhaust emissions during operation. The latter will have a significant and positive effect on air quality in cities with many ongoing construction projects. Due to the lack of noise disturbance, these trucks also make it possible to perform transport operations for more hours per day, which opens up new possibilities for streamlining operations, for instance in large construction projects and for transports in and around cities.

A reduction of the overall climate impact of the transport sector is possible by using heavy electric vehicles in regional distribution. The majority of goods distribution by truck within the EU is regional.

“In Europe there is an enormous number of trucks used for regional goods transport that have an average annual mileage of 80,000km. This means that increased use of electric vehicles for regional distribution would result in significant climate gains, provided the electricity is fossil-free,” says Volvo Trucks director environment and innovation Lars Mårtensson.

Volvo Trucks‘ plan for electric heavy-duty trucks for construction and regional distribution is to start by having selected customers in Europe pilot a small number of future electric vehicles. More extensive commercialisation will follow at a later point.

In parallel with increased electrification of the transport sector, ongoing improvement of the efficiency of combustion engines will continue to play a key role for long haul truck transport for many years to come.

“Today‘s truck engines are efficient energy converters that can run on diesel or various renewable fuels such as liquefied biogas or HVO, and the technology still has potential for further development,” said Mårtensson.