Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) will begin building Class 8 VNR Electric models at its New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia, in early December, the Volvo Group subsidiary said Thursday.
An undisclosed number of 25 VNR day cabs planned for regional haul and drayage demonstration fleets are being tested in Southern California. They are part of the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project. Volvo LIGHTS is a 15-partner cost-sharing program with the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is covering $21 million of the cost for 70 more VNRs. They will undergo fleet evaluation beginning next year.
It is unclear whether Volvo counts those trucks as part of regular production beginning Dec. 3.
Industry sales leader Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) presently pilots more demonstration units. There are 38 Class 8 eCascadia and Class 6 eM2 models on the road.
Peterbilt Motors said earlier this week that it is taking orders for its Class 8 Model 579EV. PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) sister brand Kenworth also is taking orders for its T680E model. Production begins in the second quarter of 2021. Peterbilt and sister division Kenworth Trucks are leasing medium-duty electric trucks for delivery in 2021.
Global electrification scheme
During its Volvo Group Capital Markets Day in Sweden on Thursday, Volvo said it would offer a complete range of electric heavy-duty trucks in Europe in 2021. It is testing the electric heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks. They are used for regional transport and urban construction operations in Europe.
Volvo Trucks started manufacturing the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric in 2019 for European city distribution and refuse operations.
Following battery-electric trucks, Volvo will start selling longer-range hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in the second half of the decade. Volvo Group paid 600 million euros (about $700 million) for a 50% stake in the joint venture built on Daimler’s fuel cell expertise.
Volvo’s objective is to offer a fossil-free product range by 2040.
“We will continue to invest in and drive the development of this technology, both globally and right here in North America,” VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve said in a press release.