Northern European shipping and logistics company DFDS and Volvo Trucks are cooperating to electrify heavy truck transport. As a first step, DFDS will operate a fully electric truck to deliver parts to the Volvo truck factory near Gothenburg.
The background to the initiative is that Volvo Trucks recently announced the European sales launch of three more all-electric commercial vehicles called FH, FM and FMX. The Volvo FM Electric will now be used by DFDS as one of the first companies in freight transport – and in the service of Volvo itself. Starting this summer, the electric truck will bring deliveries to the manufacturer’s truck plant in Gothenburg. The daily route will initially cover 120 kilometres.
“Volvo Group has set the target to build a fossil free supply chain and this is an important milestone on the way,” says Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks. The common goal with DFDS, he says, is to learn from each other and gain deeper, useful insights on important topics such as battery capacity, route planning, charging, driver experience and much more. “Going electric is so much more than just a truck – it is a total solution,” says Roger Alm.
For DFDS, the project demonstrates how serious the company is about being part of the transition to electric mobility and a more sustainable transport business. With a view to future-proofing the investment, the decision was made to build the “the most powerful charging station on the market at its home depot in Gothenburg, with a capacity of 350 kW”, according to an accompanying statement. “We are in the beginning of our e-mobility journey and understand that charging capacity is important. The learning experience with Volvo will be valuable when ramping up, allowing us to evaluate vehicle battery capacity based on routes and individual assignments,” said Niklas Andersson, Executive Vice President & Head of DFDS Logistics Division.
With the sales launch of the three new heavy-duty electric truck models, Volvo Trucks now has a line-up of six medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks ranging from 16 to 44 tonnes. Production of the FH, FM and FMX is scheduled to start in the second half of 2022. They join the Volvo FL Electric and FE Electric for urban transport, which have been in series production for Europe since 2019. In North America, sales of a dedicated variant – the Volvo VNR Electric – started in December 2020.
“With the introduction of these new all-electronic vehicles with higher charging capacities and more powerful powertrains, we believe the time is ripe for a rapid upswing in the electrification of trucking,” Roger Alm says.