Volvo Trucks has anounced that the first electric trucks delivered by the company are now working as garbage and distribution trucks for the waste and recycling company Renova, and the logistics company DB Schenker and partner haulier TGM, all operating in Sweden.
The Volvo FL Electric trucks are part of a pre-series developed in collaboration with selected customers. The next stage will be series production of the Volvo FL Electric and the Volvo FE Electric, which will commence with a limited number of trucks for the European markets in the second half of 2019.
According to the Swedish truck maker, the absence of motor noise and exhaust emissions contributes to better working conditions for the drivers and a quieter, cleaner urban environment.
“Our close collaboration with drivers and customers has enabled us to develop, in a short space of time, electrified transport solutions that meet high requirements in terms of performance, driving distances, cargo handling and vehicle use,” said Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks. “The drivers who will operate the electric trucks have had the opportunity to test-drive them prior to delivery, as part of the operator training.
“The drivers were particularly impressed with the responsive driveline, delivering fast and seamless acceleration, and the low noise level. We will continue to develop our electrified offering. At the same time, we are steadily reducing the environmental and climate impact of our diesel and gas powered trucks, primarily through energy-efficient drivelines.”
Both trucks are primarily intended for transport operations in urban conditions. The Volvo FL Electric is ndesigned for gross weights of up to 16 tonnes, while the Volvo FE Electric is engineered for heavier operations, with gross weights of up to 27 tonnes.
The Volvo FE Electric is also available with a Low Entry Cab that makes getting in and out more convenient and also increasing traffic safety by higher visibility, making it easier to keep an eye on other road users.
For the Volvo FL Electric, the electric motor has a maximum power rating of 130 kW. The Volvo FE Electric has dual electric motors for a maximum power rating of 370 kW and continuous power output of 260 kW. Transmission to the driven wheels is via Volvo’s two-speed gearbox, propshaft and rear axle.
The battery capacity and battery packaging is flexible to suit customers individual transport needs, but both trucks can have up to 300 kWh capacity. Discharged batteries can either be fully charged with up to 150 kW direct current in one to two hours, or with 22 kW alternating current from the mains grid in about ten hours. In practice, Volvo reckon however the charging time is shorter since the batteries are never completely discharged.
Electric power offers rapid and linear acceleration since the electric motor delivers full torque from start. The Volvo FE Electric also has power shift functionality which delivers smoother gear changes.
An electric truck with four batteries carries about one tonne less payload than its diesel-driven counterpart. The Volvo FL Electric trucks that will operate in Gothenburg have just three batteries since battery capacity has been optimised to maximise payload on the particular routes where the trucks will operate.