Volvo Trucks North America has announced the commercial introduction and sales start of its zero tailpipe emission, battery-electric vehicle to the North American market. The Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric truck model has a scheduled production start of early 2021.
“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—have enabled us to deliver a solution that is both advanced yet easy to own and operate.”
VNR Electric design
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 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.
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 the construction of the cab and chassis. The construction of the battery support carrier system was also designed with these same safety standards in mind. The VNR Electric features the same best-in-class active safety systems as the VNR model. In addition, the specifically designed location of the batteries on the side of the vehicle as well as the air compressor under the driver 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 pick-up and delivery routes. The 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80% within 70 minutes, have an operating range of up to 150 miles 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 U.S. 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 lb.-ft. of torque. The Volvo VNR Electric features a two-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission that delivers smooth and efficient acceleration with excellent startability and low-speed maneuverability. Models are offered in three configurations:
- Single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 lbs.
- Two tractor configurations – 4x2 with a 66,000-lb. gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and 6x2 with an up-to 82,000-lb. GCWR in specific applications.
The Volvo VNR Electric includes Volvo Trucks’ full uptime promise, with 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.
Working to transform the transportation industry
Volvo leads the transition to electromobility in North America and Europe, and the collective learnings and expertise have enabled the company to further secure 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, VA.
“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.
“In launching the VNR Electric, we’re answering a very real need from fleet customers across North America—to not just deliver a road-tested, battery-electric truck, but to provide them with solutions for the entire life-cycle of the vehicle,” said Voorhoeve. “Before making the VNR Electric truck available to our customers, we thought through every aspect of electrification so they didn’t have to. We have worked alongside our fleet customers to plan beyond the vehicle and have developed an entire support system, ensuring this vehicle meets their needs day-in and day-out.”
The Volvo VNR Electric plays a pivotal role in helping Volvo Trucks’ North American fleet customers meaningfully reduce emissions and achieve their ambitious sustainability goals.
“Across the globe, Volvo Trucks is leading the electrification race. By introducing a robust lineup of all-electric commercial vehicles in both Europe and North America, we are delivering on our promise to drive this industry toward a sustainable future,” said Roger Alm, president of Volvo Truck Corporation. “Volvo doesn’t view transportation electrification as a disruption of the existing market—we see it as an opportunity to invent something completely new and transformational. We are proud to collaborate with our partners around the world to bring this vision to life, and it is especially impressive to see what is being done together with our partners in North America.”
Volvo Trucks is successfully facilitating the introduction of the Class 8 VNR Electric model to the North American market in part through strategic partnerships and participation in innovative demonstration projects.
“By collaborating with 14 other organizations in the Volvo LIGHTS project in Southern California, we gained crucial experience as we worked together to demonstrate the real-world viability of the VNR Electric truck and its supporting ecosystem,” said Voorhoeve. “We fully understand the steps needed to successfully deploy and operate electric trucks and can confidently offer the Volvo VNR Electric to our customers across North America.”
With a goal to transform goods movement, the Volvo LIGHTS project united public and private stakeholders to design an end-to-end support system for the wide-scale electrification of commercial trucking. Alongside rigorous real-world fleet trials, the landmark project created a robust dealership service model for sales and maintenance, developed best practices to implement reliable and cost-effective heavy-duty charging infrastructure, and launched next-generation training programs for technicians and first responders. The project will continue to gather real-world operational data through 2021.
Voorhoeve continued, “There is much more to the successful commercialization of electric trucks than simply designing and delivering a cutting-edge vehicle. By considering every detail—from the point-of-sale to charging, uptime, driver experience, service, support, and beyond—we are able to make the transition to electrification as seamless and efficient as possible for our customers.”
Earlier this year, the Volvo VNR Electric model was certified by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board enabling the vehicle to be commercially sold in all 50 states of the U.S.