Earlier this year, the Swedish group Volvo Trucks announced that it will bring its electric trucks to the road as soon as this year and start selling them next year.

Today, they unveiled their first electric truck: ‘the Volvo FL Electric’.

The 16-tonne truck can be configured with different battery packs for a capacity between 100 and 300 kWh for a range of up to 300 km (186 miles).

Volvo says that the truck will be primarily used for urban distribution and refuse operations.

Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks, commented on the announcement:

We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic. With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports,

Here are the specs that Volvo unveiled:

  • Fully electrically-powered truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 16 tonnes.
  • Driveline: 185 kW electric motor, max power/130 kW continuous output, two speed transmission, propeller shaft, rear axle. Max torque electric motor 425 Nm. Max torque rear axle 16 kNm.
  • Energy storage: 2-6 lithium-ion batteries, totalling 100-300 kWh.
  • Range: Up to 300 km.
  • Charging: AC charging via the mains grid (22 kW) or DC fast charge via CCS/Combo2 for up to 150 kW.
  • Recharging time: From empty to fully charged batteries: fast charge 1-2 hours (DC charging), night charge up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300 kWh.
  • The first two Volvo FL Electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM.
  • The Off Peak City Distribution project studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. By avoiding peak hour traffic the trucks were able to do their jobs in one-third of the time compared to daytime operation.

Volvo says that the “first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers in Gothenburg.”

Electrek’s Take

The focus on electric trucks has so far been on semis, like Tesla SemiDaimler’s heavy-duty all-electric truck concept, and Cummins’ electric truck effort, but there are also some medium-size truck programs to compete with Volvo.

For example, Daimler already started delivering all-electric trucks in Europe. VW is also investing $1.7 billion to bring electric trucks to market in Europe.

It’s certainly an easier vehicle category to electrify and there’s certainly a large market for it. Mid-size delivery trucks are both a great source of pollution via emissions and noise pollution in urban regions. City dwellers should certainly appreciate every diesel truck replaced by all-electric alternatives.

We are going to keep following the vehicle program as it grows.

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