Volvo Trucks North America announced the commercial introduction and sales launch of the battery-electric Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric truck model on the North American market ahead of its scheduled production start in early 2021.
Production of the battery-electric trucks will take place in the USA as well, as Volvo Trucks North America will begin building its regional haul VNR Electric truck on the same assembly line with diesel models in Virginia. Regarding the electric truck itself, it runs on 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80% within 70 minutes, has an operating range of up to 240 km based on the truck’s configuration. The top speed is 65 miles per hour.
The electric truck is available in three different configurations: A single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 pounds, a 4×2 tractor with a 66,000-pound Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) or a 6×2 tractor with up to 82,000-pound GCWR in specific applications.
“In launching the VNR Electric, we’re answering a very real need from fleet customers across North America—to not just deliver a road-tested, battery-electric truck, but to provide them with solutions for the entire life-cycle of the vehicle,” said Peter Voorhoeve, President of Volvo Trucks North America. “Before making the VNR Electric truck available to our customers, we thought through every aspect of electrification so they didn’t have to. We have worked alongside our fleet customers to plan beyond the vehicle and have developed an entire support system, ensuring this vehicle meets their needs day-in and day-out.”
Volvo Trucks did not complete the adaptation of the electric trucks and their appropriate ecosystems in the US by themselves, however. Instead the Swedish vehicle manufacturer took advantage of local subsidies, capacities and collaborations: “By collaborating with 14 other organizations in the Volvo LIGHTS project in Southern California, we gained crucial experience as we worked together to demonstrate the real-world viability of the VNR Electric truck and its supporting ecosystem,” said Peter Voorhoeve.
“One thing we learned during the LIGHTS project was how critical it is that we help the dealers and customers navigate that transition,” said Mark Curri, VTNA senior vice president of uptime and customer support.
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