Volvo Trucks, the world’s second largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks and subsidiary of Swedish manufacturing giant Volvo, has this week offered a first look at its North American Class 8 battery-electric project trucks.
Unveiled at an exclusive event at the TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana, California, Volvo Trucks launched a pilot program in California which will see Volvo VNR Electric project trucks put into real-world commercial operations with two of the state’s leading freight companies – Dependable Supply Chain Services and NFI. Participants.
The pilot demonstration was part of the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project, a collaboration between 15 public and private partners to demonstrate the viability of all-electric freight hauling in high-density traffic and urban areas.
“We’re excited to share the milestones reached and lessons learned in the development of a battery-electric transport eco-system,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.
“This project is unique in the sense of its scope, and that it takes into account the entire system from charging stations to yard haulers to solar panels to workforce development to heavy-duty trucks.
“We are putting trucks on the road and fully testing them in real-world commercial applications, proving out this innovative approach to learn and prepare for commercial operations for zero-emission freight hauling.”
Apparently the VNR class 8 heavy duty trucks will be used to transport goods from the Port of Long Beach – one of the busiest ports in the country – to distribution hubs in the Southern California metropolitan area Inland Empire, a journey of about 110 kilometres each way.
The demonstration allowed attendees to drive the first five pilot Volvo VNR Electric trucks on a closed course at the Fontana Speedway near the TEC Equipment facility which was set up to demonstrate the Volvo VNR Electric project trucks’ features such as propulsion and regeneration energy, manoeuvrability, quietness, and ease of operation.
The Volvo LIGHTS project was made possible through an award to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) of $US44.8 million from the California Air Resources Board as part of California Climate Investments (CCI) – a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.
Volvo Group also contributed a further $US36.7 million, and South Coast AQMD contributed a further $5 million from its Clean Fuels Fund.
“Our partnership with Volvo Group began with efforts to develop a prototype of a hybrid-electric diesel truck, something that was novel in the industry at the time.
Now, we have reached a huge milestone that lays a path for the commercialization of fully electric truck technologies,” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer for the South Coast AQMD.
“These battery-electric trucks showcased today will have positive air quality impacts in local communities across our region, but especially in disadvantaged communities that need it most.”
“The Volvo LIGHTS project demonstrates that for the entire endeavour to come together, it takes more than just the truck. It’s the delivery of the complete eco-system for zero-emission, heavy-duty transport, and taking responsibility for that ecosystem,” added Voorhoeve.
“You can only achieve this by having a common goal, fully integrated collaboration amongst all stakeholders, and agreeing to be pioneers together.”