Volvo Trucks recently announced that its full range of heavy-duty trucks and haulers will be available with battery-electric powertrains from as early as next year. The company plans to start selling hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks in the latter half of this decade. This development represents significant progress in reducing fossil-fuel consumption in road freight throughout Europe and is aligned with Volvo’s commitment to being a “climate-neutral” company by 2040.
The news follows a recent announcement that Volvo Trucks is purchasing 50% of Daimler Trucks’ hydrogen fuel cell business. This is another step towards Volvo meeting its objective of making their entire product range fossil-free by 2040.
Volvo Trucks is currently testing their battery electric Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX heavy-duty trucks. With a driving range of approximately 200 miles between charges, these models are unlikely to displace diesel models which can often travel from 800 to 1000 miles per day. However, increasing the number of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks available is likely to encourage uptake from businesses requiring vehicles that are well suited to shorter distance haulage.
“To reduce the impact of transport on the climate, we need to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to alternatives such as electricity. But the conditions for making this shift, and consequently the pace of the transition, vary dramatically across different hauliers and markets, depending on many variables such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and type of transport operations,” explains Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks Global.
Considering these variables, Alm anticipates that the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles will occur in stages. To reassure fleet managers who are planning to switch to zero-emission vehicles, Volvo Trucks have emphasised that their models are driveline agnostic. This means that characteristics will not differ between battery electric, fuel cell and diesel vehicles, so any additional equipment – such as a bespoke loading arm – will not need to be replaced. The company’s aim is “to ease the transition to electrified vehicles”, and to achieve this they are also offering additional services such as route planning, charging equipment and financing.
Original article first published 10 November 2020 by CleanTechnica.
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