Volvo Trucks has revealed details of its three new, all-electric, truck models, which are all available for purchase. Production of the new electric trucks – FH, FM and FMX – will start in the second half of 2022, initially with tractor units. The chassis will then follow at the beginning of 2023.
The new electric trio, for which the Swedish company is now listing performance figures, joins the Volvo FL Electric and FE Electric for urban transport, which have already been in series production for Europe since 2019. Meanwhile, in North America, sales of a dedicated variant – the Volvo VNR Electric – started in December 2020.
With the sales launch of the three new, heavy-duty electric models, Volvo Trucks now has a line-up of six medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks ranging from 16 to 44 tonnes. The company is positioning the FH Electric in the regional and interregional transport segment, the FM Electric as a versatile truck for local heavy haulage and regional distribution transport, and the FMX Electric as a vehicle for cleaner and quieter construction transport.
Only a few months ago, Volvo Trucks asserted its belief that the time is right for a rapid upswing in electrification of heavy road transport, with this positive outlook based in part on the ability of Volvo’s electric trucks to meet a broad variety of transport needs.
“More and more transport companies are realizing they need to start their electrification journey right now, both with the environment in mind and for competitive reasons to satisfy customer requirements for sustainable shipping,” said Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks, in April. “With our wide and deep offering, it is totally feasible for far more transport companies to go electric.”
The FH, FM and FMX have three electric motors coupled to Volvo Trucks’ I-Shift transmission. The manufacturer puts the combined electric motor output at 490 kW, the transmission torque at up to 28,000 Nm. The power take-off is available in electric (40 kW), electromechanical (70 kW) and transmission (150 kW) versions. The six-unit lithium-ion battery pack on board the e-trucks comes with an energy content of 540 kWh, which is supposed to favour a range of up to 300 kilometres already mentioned in advance.
The Vice President of Electromobility Product Management at Volvo Trucks, Jonas Odermalm, highlighted a special feature of the installed transmission drive unit.
“Since the truck always starts in the highest possible gear, energy efficiency and savings are achieved thanks to a minimum of gear changes,” he said – although lower gears are of course available on steep roads or in starting situations that require more torque and control.
Production of the new electric trucks will start in the second half of 2022.
The new heavy trucks for regional transport and construction are available in two alternative chassis heights – with wheelbases ranging from 3,800 to 6,700 mm and in configurations with two, three or four axles. They are based on the same platform as their diesel or gas-powered counterparts, and in doing so, Volvo Trucks says they will “offer a high degree of flexibility and are suitable for a wide range of transport requirements”.
For buyers of the new electric trucks from the transport industry, Volvo Trucks is also putting together a package of service, maintenance and financing solutions.
“For entrepreneurs, it is important that the transition to electric trucks is gradual, smooth and easy,” said Odermalm. “They will have a mixed fleet with different powertrains for many years and can continue to use systems like Dynafleet and the same service provider for all their Volvo trucks. The powertrain may be different, but the rest is very similar, so the move to electric trucks is seamless and logical.”
In terms of charging, the new electric trio has AC and DC charging capabilities. Up to 43 kW is supported in the AC range, and up to 250 kW in the DC range. In the latter case, Volvo Trucks says it is possible to recharge up to 80% of the battery capacity in less than 90 minutes.