Motoring

Robust electric trucks by Volvo

Volvo's new electric truck series aims to be the most comprehensive zero-emission offering in the industry.

Volvo is introducing its highly popular heavy-duty trucks to its electric line-up, including the Volvo FH, the Volvo FM and the Volvo FMX. These trucks will be available in both truck-tractor and rigid configurations, ranging from 4×2 to 8×4.

“Protecting the environment is our greatest challenge today. The Volvo Group is at the forefront of the electrification of transportation, mobility and equipment sectors, significantly contributing to our customers’ efforts in reducing their carbon footprint,” stated Waldemar Christensen, managing director of Volvo Trucks South Africa.

Volvo’s objective is to provide 100% safe, 100% fossil-free, and 100% more productive solutions, including a 50% reduction in CO¬≤ emissions by 2030, and achieving complete fossil-fuel independence by 2050.

In a local context, the first electric FM 4X2 Tractor was delivered to KDG Logistics, a valued Volvo customer. The company plans to utilise this truck for transporting new passenger vehicles between factories/storage facilities and the Durban Port.

“Since 2015, our entire fleet has consisted of Volvo Trucks because we firmly believe that these trucks are not only designed to be the safest on the road, but also the most operationally efficient in terms of reliability and fuel consumption,” explained KDG Logistics.

Eric Parry, Volvo Trucks SA’s sustainable solutions manager, elaborated on the features of the electric trucks. “Our trucks are engineered to withstand high temperatures and diverse operational conditions. With a driveline that delivers 490kW of power and 2 400Nm of torque, uphill driving is effortless,” clarified Parry. “One of the main advantages of electric trucks is the silent and vibration-free ride they offer, while delivering smooth and substantial power.”

Depending on the model, two or three electric motors, combined with an I-Shift gearbox optimised for electromobility, provide a seamless and powerful driving experience. The impressive power of up to 490kW/665hp is efficiently managed by a unique traction control system developed to handle slippery surfaces.

In terms of after-sales and maintenance support, Volvo’s staff is fully trained and equipped to provide the necessary technical assistance to all customers. These electric trucks only require one annual service, resulting in minimal downtime.

“Unlike passenger cars, commercial vehicles endure strenuous workloads. While the servicing requirements will decrease, the vehicles will still need maintenance and repairs. However, our focus needs to shift towards services that enhance customers’ business efficiency, productivity and safety,” added Parry.

The Volvo electric trucks offer a range of up to 300km, sufficient for most urban and regional applications. However, with a top-up charge, such as during a lunch break, the trucks can cover up to 500km in a typical workday.

Addressing concerns about consistent electricity supply, Parry stated, “Operators will have the necessary tools to plan their charging options based on workload and routes, even in the event of power outages. Moreover, many early adopters have already implemented off-grid power solutions which can be upgraded to complement grid charging.”

“We need government support to facilitate customers’ transition to electromobility, including reduced import duties and technical allowances for increased payload. Without such support, mass adoption will be challenging. Ultimately, we aim to assemble electric trucks locally at our Durban plant, subject to the regulatory environment. If we receive the necessary support to drive uptake, we can establish a sufficiently large market to achieve economies of scale, justifying further investments in local assembly,” concluded Christensen.

Source: MotorPress

 

 

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