Electric pickups and crossovers are not the only evolution paving its way to the mainstream market lately. Earlier this year, Volvo Trucks North America had announced the commercial introduction and start of sales of its zero-tailpipe emission, battery-electric vehicle to the North American market. The Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric truck model has begun production.
“The Volvo VNR Electric marks a significant step forward for electromobility in an industry that we are committed to leading as it undergoes rapid, significant change,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Volvo Trucks believes and invests in sustainable electromobility. Our deep understanding of the transportation ecosystem—the technology, infrastructure and applications in the trucking industry—has enabled us to deliver a solution that is both advanced yet easy to own and operate.”
The Volvo VNR Electric offers the same state-of-the-art agility and visibility as the highly successful Volvo VNR regional haul model. So, drivers will benefit from a fast-learning curve, ease of operation and service, and a seamless transition from miles per gallon to kilowatt-hours per mile. In the Volvo VNR Electric, drivers are provided with a familiar human-machine interface, operation, and design. At the same time, they experience a significantly quieter ride and an improved working environment, reducing stress and fatigue and increasing overall comfort.
Interestingly, the industry-leading safety criteria and features found in the Volvo VNR model are retained in the Volvo VNR Electric model, including the highest safety standards in constructing the cab and chassis. The construction of the battery support carrier system was also designed with these same safety standards in mind. This electric truck also features the same best-in-class active safety systems as the VNR model. The specifically designed location of the batteries on the vehicle’s side and the air compressor under the driver’s door also enhance serviceability.
The Volvo VNR Electric is designed for customer applications and driving cycles with local and regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage and pickup and delivery routes. Its 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80% within 70 minutes, have an operating range of up to 150 miles (240 km) based on the truck’s configuration. Advanced battery chemistries deliver increased power at reduced costs, while self-learning controls optimize energy usage. Regenerative braking can increase range by returning power up to 15% back into the battery, depending on the duty cycle. Cutting-edge battery monitoring technology relays the state of health for the energy source in real-time, streamlining service needs and maximizing uptime.
Benefitting from Volvo Trucks’ global experience in manufacturing electric trucks, Volvo Trucks North America has engineered the Volvo VNR Electric model to provide the power, performance, and reliability that US and Canadian fleet operators need and expect. The electric driveline is a fully integrated, Volvo proprietary solution, rated at 455 hp and generating up to 4,051 pounds-ft (or 5,492 Nm) of torque. The Volvo VNR Electric features a two-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission that delivers smooth and efficient acceleration with the excellent launch and low-speed maneuverability.
Models are offered in various configurations. One is the single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 lbs. There are also the two tractor configurations—4×2 with a 66,000-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and 6×2 with up to 82,000 pounds GCWR in specific applications.
The Volvo VNR Electric includes Volvo Trucks’ full uptime promise. Best-in-class onboard telematics, including Remote Diagnostics and a new real-time battery monitoring service from the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center. Volvo Action Service offers 24/7 access to highly trained uptime experts who can quickly manage service, schedule repairs, and tackle any other issues that happen on the road.
With the launch of the Volvo VNR Electric, Volvo Trucks North America provides customers with a range of operational solutions. A premier Volvo Gold Contract includes scheduled and preventive maintenance, towing, and vehicle repair, including the lithium-ion batteries and the complete electromobility system. The Volvo Gold Contract provides assurance and peace of mind as customers integrate the new Volvo VNR Electric trucks into their fleets. Volvo Financial Services (VFS) provided flexible financing solutions specific to the Volvo VNR Electric and required charging infrastructure. VFS will also offer access to insurance solutions for VNR Electric in select US markets via third-party licensed agents.
Volvo leads the transition to electromobility in North America and Europe. The collective learnings and expertise have enabled the company to secure further the seamless introduction and same high product quality and reliability with the VNR Electric as with all Volvo truck models. This new all-electric truck will be fully integrated into the production and manufacturing processes at the New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Virginia.
“For us, it is more than just the truck. The transition to electromobility requires a tight stakeholder collaboration,” said Voorhoeve. “We are committed to working closely with our customers and dealers, providing end-to-end consultative support, matching available incentives, understanding the required charging infrastructure and matching the right model and specifications to their operational needs. As we hit this landmark milestone, moving forward with our pioneering customers toward a shared vision of the future, Volvo Trucks is making electromobility accessible, efficient and operationally viable. The future is here and we are proud to bring this new and very real solution to the North American commercial trucking industry today.” (Story and image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)
Watch this Volvo Trucks North America walk-around video of the Volvo VNR all-electric truck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU5ip-rqCzQ
Watch this Bloomberg Technology report on the Volvo VNR electric truck hitting the streets of New York for the first time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzL_Rqz4-3g