Volvo Launches Electric Transport Truck

Volvo today introduced its FL Electric transport truck, the brand's first battery-powered commercial truck and one that the Swedish manufacturer says puts it in the lead "in solutions for electrified goods transport in cities."

In its press release, Volvo says it will begin sales and series production of the FL Electric next year, following a trial period underway that has put a handful of the trucks to work in the company's hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Should Volvo meet its 2019 on-sale target date, it would likely beat Mercedes-Benz to the punch: that German manufacturer is about to begin trials of its electric transports with a goal of selling the first production models "by 2021."

Whether Volvo is first depends on whether Tesla can meet a seemingly ambitious target of moving its electric transport rig into production next year. Tesla's Elon Musk is promising a truck that can go 800 km at highway speeds and rip to nearly 100 km/h in 20 seconds with a trailer loaded with more than 36,000 kg of cargo.

The FL Electric can be equipped with anywhere from two to six lithium-ion batteries good for as much as 300 kWh of juice, which Volvo says provides up to 300 km of driving range. Fully specified with a half-dozen battery packs and 300 kWh of capacity, charging time is one to two hours on a DC fast-charger, or as little as 10 hours when plugged into an AC power source.

Electricity is delivered to the wheels by an electric motor good for 248 hp and 313 lb-ft of torque, which works with a two-speed transmission.

Volvo says its electric trucks promise benefits beyond reducing fuel costs for its customers. The truck's low noise levels will allow more goods transport to happen at night, reducing road congestion during daytime hours. In what it called the Off-Peak City Distribution project, Volvo found that its trucks were able to do their work in a third of the time it took during daytime.

Swede electricity 4/12/2018 1:12:32 PM