Volvo’s Making Electric Trucks Now, Too

Volvo is getting serious about electric vehicles. But the automaker isn’t the only one getting into the game. So is the truck manufacturer of the same name.

Despite the shared heritage, name, branding, and even typeface, the two Volvos are no longer related. While Geely owns the automaker, the truck manufacturer is its own company. (Although Geely did recently buy a small portion of the truckmaker as well.) The Volvo Group also controls the Renault and Mack truck brands (among others).

The commercial vehicle manufacturer has now introduced the Volvo FL Electric. It’s designed for “urban distribution and refuse operations, among other applications.” And it offers lower noise levels and better air quality than conventionally powered trucks.

The first of many

The FL is powered by an electric motor producing 185 kW (248 hp) and 425 Nm (313 lb-ft) of torque. That’s backed up by between two and six lithium-ion batteries (depending on requirements). They can supply between 100 and 300 kWh for a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles). The truck can quick-charge in 1-2 hours via DC power, or charge up via AC power in 10 hours overnight.

“We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic,” said Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson. “With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports.”

While this is the first fully electric truck from Volvo, it has offered hybrid trucks for some time already. And the bus division has been producing people-moving EVs for eight years now. This won’t be the last, either, as Volvo Trucks plans to offer a full range of battery-powered models.

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  • Bash

    Electric commercial trucks and electric public transport vehicles should have been the first thing to be made instead of personal EV… I think all car makers are years behind; at that side.

    • Marty

      Ins’t it just logical that electrification starts with small short range vehicles and spreads to the big long range vehicles as the power storage becomes better?

      • Bash

        Due to the big size of the truck or a bus, batteries will be bigger, hence longer range, and I think buses and trucks and all other commercial/ industrial vehicles are more harmful to the environment than cars. Can’t remember exactly what it was but every 30 passenger bus produces as much as 10 mid side cars CO per year.

        • Marty

          Of course, but more volume occupied by batteries means less volume for cargo which means smaller margins, and a bigger mass of batteries means bigger needs for power which means shorter range. So the batteries needed to become more efficient before they could be put into a truck. That’s why we could buy electric scooters before we could buy electric trucks.

          • Bash

            Agree.

  • MIL1234

    i like the second picture
    it shows the other advantge of electric vehicules

  • LWOAP

    If I recall, Volvo said they would start making electric trucks in 2019. If Tesla’s semi isn’t in production and out on the roads by then – which isn’t happening soon given their history – Volvo is going to get the jump on them before Tesla even attempts to make a foot hold in the international market. And given that Volvo has more experience in the trucking industry than Tesla, this will definitely give them an advantage because they understand their needs far more than Tesla who only seem interested in 0-60 times.

    Volvo has way more to bring to the table than Tesla, so I get the feeling that Tesla may have success here stateside but will lose out internationally when it ends up competing with Volvo. Oh, and Volvo’s trucks are just prettier with a far better interior.

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