The Volvo VNR Electric project trucks will be put into real-world commercial operations and closely monitored and evaluated over the next several months. Those learnings will assist in product development and begin the first phase of serial production and commercial offering in late 2020.
Volvo Trucks North America offered a first look at its Class 8 battery-electric project trucks during an exclusive event in California.
The Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) Innovation Showcase, held at Volvo Trucks’ TEC Equipment dealership’s Fontana location, revealed the progress that has been achieved since the announcement of the Volvo LIGHTS project in late 2018.
The Volvo LIGHTS project is a collaboration between 15 public and private partners to demonstrate the viability of all-electric freight hauling in high-density traffic and urban areas. The project’s transformative impact on fleet operations is designed to be scalable and replicable to reduce emissions throughout the freight eco-system.
“We’re excited to share the milestones reached and lessons learned in the development of a battery-electric transport eco-system,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This project is unique in the sense of its scope, and that it takes into account the entire system from charging stations to yard haulers to solar panels to workforce development to heavy-duty trucks. We are putting trucks on the road and fully testing them in real-world commercial applications, proving out this innovative approach to learn and prepare for commercial operations for zero-emission freight hauling,” said Voorhoeve.
Volvo Group contributed US$36.7 million (NZ$58m) for the project total of US$90 million (NZ$139m), and South Coast AQMD contributed US$4 million (NZ$6m) from the Clean Fuels Fund, administers the grant and oversees the Volvo LIGHTS project.
The Volvo VNR Electric project trucks will be put into real-world commercial operations with two of California’s leading freight companies, Dependable Supply Chain Services and NFI. Volvo Trucks engineers and project managers will closely monitor and evaluate the vehicles’ performance, driving cycles, load capacity, uptime, range and other parameters in these real-world applications over the next several months. The company will take those learnings into the final stages of product development and begin the first phase of serial production and commercial offering of the Volvo VNR Electric in late 2020.
Volvo LIGHTS project partner TEC Equipment will serve as a fully certified maintenance hub for the Volvo VNR Electric project trucks in the South Coast Air Basin. The dealership group has partnered with local colleges to create electric vehicle repair and service technician programmes to ensure fully trained and skilled technicians to support these new technologies. The company will also lease 15 battery-electric Volvo VNR Electric trucks to interested customers for real-world trials as part of the overall project scope.
“The Volvo LIGHTS project demonstrates that for the entire endeavour to come together, it takes more than just the truck. It’s the delivery of the complete eco-system for zero-emission, heavy-duty transport, and taking responsibility for that ecosystem,” said Voorhoeve. “You can only achieve this by having a common goal, fully integrated collaboration amongst all stakeholders, and agreeing to be pioneers together.”