Volvo, the car brand, just launched the XC40 Recharge electric vehicle. Now, the separate but same-named truck company announced plans to launch a fleet of electric semis. The Volvo truck brand already produces zero-emission big rigs such as the FE Electric, used for city distribution and waste collection throughout Europe. And it’s still on track to start selling the VNR Electric regional transport truck in North America this December. After that, Volvo will continue its electric offensive with new battery-electric semis starting in 2021. Later to come are hydrogen fuel-cell trucks.
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Volvo is now testing the electric FH, FM, and FMX heavy-duty trucks. With an estimated range of up to 186 miles, these rigs aren’t meant for long trips. Like other Volvo electric trucks, these models aim to serve local transport and urban construction needs in Europe. Sales commence next year, with volume production starting in 2022. At this time, Volvo plans to have a complete range of electric trucks in Europe for a number of services.
Sometime during this decade, Volvo plans to bring out long-haul electric trucks. Part of this strategy involves introducing hydrogen fuel-cell rigs in the second half of 2020. The ultimate goal is to wean all Volvo big rigs off fossil fuels by 2040.
Most companies will take time their switching over to a fully electric fleet. Knowing this, Volvo has made its chassis built to fit different drivelines, so it can offer trucks of the same model in electric, gas, or diesel configurations.
Also looking to cash in on the EV big rig market is Tesla. The American brand claims its Semi can travel 300-500 miles on a full charge, depending on the configuration chosen. Production was expected to begin in 2019 but has since been delayed.
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