Move over Tesla, Freightliner, Cummins and, well, add one more new battery-electric truck to the growing field of competitors: Volvo’s new FL Electric.
The company’s new 16-ton truck is designed to function in an urban environment, acting primarily as a delivery truck. This will become more important as the number of cities banning diesel engines from city centers continues to increase, now there will be an option to get goods into urban areas.
“We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic,” said Claes Nilsson, president, Volvo Trucks.
“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.”
(Volvo XC60 lands honors as World Car of the Year. Click Here for the story.)
Since the new truck produces no odors, like its diesel competitors, and no noise, the FL is ideal for city duty, according to Volvo. Without any exhaust emissions, it can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. The low noise level creates opportunities for doing more work at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.
The truck operates on between two and six lithium-ion batteries with 100-300 kWh, providing up to 186 miles of range with six batteries. The truck’s charging time is said to be one to two hours with fast DC charging, or up to 10 hours on AC with the 300-kWh battery capacity.
The FL’s electric motor produces 248 peak horsepower or 175 continuous hp, while maximum torque is rated at 313 pound-feet with a two-speed transmission. Offering up an electric truck that ready to go into service now – the company’s hometown of Gothenburg is the first customer – isn’t all that surprising.
(Click Here to see more about London’s plans to ban diesels in the city.)
Volvo’s had plenty of experience with electric technology due to its bus division, which has produced more than 4,000 electrified buses since 2010.
“From experience we know how important it is that cities, energy suppliers and vehicle manufacturers cooperate in order for large-scale electrification to become a reality,” said Jonas Odermalm,head of product strategy, Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks.
“With attractive incentives, agreed standards and a long-term strategy for urban planning and expansion of the charging infrastructure, the process can go much faster.”
(To see more about Germany’s plan to phase out internal combustion engines, Click Here.)
The fact that the truck is designed for city use isn’t all that surprising either as Volvo sees EVs as part of a big picture approach to improving the environment. Volvo Trucks believes that it is essential to take a holistic view of electrification of the transport sector to handle the ongoing challenges in areas such as electricity generation and batteries.