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Volvo to introduce electric trucks in North America by 2020

The Volvo FE Electric, seen here in a promotional image, will go on sale in Europe next year. A North American truck based on the European model’s technology, will come to North America in 2020.

Volvo Trucks will introduce an all-electric truck in California next year before making them commercial available in North America in 2020, the company said.

As part of a partnership with California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Volvo (VOLVB:Stockholm)  and other industry groups will begin a demonstration project in 2019 for the company’s Volvo Lights (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) program. Lights involves 16 partners, including two unnamed trucking fleets that will see their facilities participate in the program.

Lights is part of California Climate Investments, 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 – particularly in disadvantaged communities,” Volvo said in a statement.

“This is yet another important step towards our vision zero emissions. We are convinced that electrified truck transport will be a key driver of sustainable transports, and we’re proud to contribute the Volvo Group’s expertise to this innovative public-private partnership,” said Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks.

The demonstration vehicles will be based on technology currently being used in Volvo’s FE Electric, first introduced in May. The FE Electric will go on sale in Europe next year.

The North American program will feature eight units with multi-configuration battery systems rated at a GVW of greater than 15 tons. Additionally, 15 precommercial and commercial units, throughout California’s South Coast Air Basin. The project will also integrate non-truck battery-electric equipment, non-proprietary chargers, and solar energy production equipment, Volvo said.

“This is an excellent opportunity to show the end-to-end potential of electrification,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.  “From solar energy harvesting at our customer locations, to electric vehicle uptime services, to potential second uses for batteries, this project will provide invaluable experience and data for the whole value chain.”

A variety of smart technologies will be used – including remote diagnostics, geofencing, and the company’s web-based service management platform – to monitor all truck performance aspects of the project and maximize vehicle uptime.

The FE Electric in Europe is designed for up to 27 tons with a 125-mile range on a single charge. The FE Electric has two motors that come with a maximum power of 370 kW, with a Volvo two-speed transmission. The energy storage is through lithium-ion batteries, which can hold 200-300 kWh. The same technology is used on more than 4,000 Volvo electric buses currently in operation around the world.

Charging time for the FE Electric is 1.5 hours from empty with a CCS2 150 kW DC charger. It takes 10 hours to charge the truck with a low-power charger producing 22 kW AC power.


Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at