Volvo Trucks is now revealing the technical details of its three new all-electric truck models FH, FM and FMX, which are already available for purchase. Production of the new electric trucks will start in the second half of 2022, initially with tractor units. The chassis are then to follow at the beginning of 2023.
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. The company is positioning the FH Electric in the regional and interregional transport segment, the FM Electric as a versatile truck for local heavy haulage and regional distribution transport, and the FMX Electric as a vehicle for cleaner and quieter construction transport.
The new electric trio, for which the Swedish company is now listing performance figures, joins the Volvo FL Electric and FE Electric for urban transport, which have already been in series production for Europe since 2019. Meanwhile, in North America, sales of a dedicated variant – the Volvo VNR Electric – started in December 2020.
The new heavy trucks for regional transport and construction are available in two alternative chassis heights – with wheelbases ranging from 3,800 to 6,700 mm and in configurations with two, three or four axles. As reported, they are based on the same platform as their diesel or gas-powered counterparts, and in doing so, Volvo Trucks says they will “offer a high degree of flexibility and are suitable for a wide range of transport requirements”.
Both the FH, FM and FMX have three electric motors coupled to Volvo Trucks’ I-Shift transmission. The manufacturer puts the combined electric motor output at 490 kW, the transmission torque at up to 28,000 Nm. The power take-off is available in electric (40 kW), electromechanical (70 kW) and transmission (150 kW) versions. The six-unit lithium-ion battery pack on board the e-trucks comes with an energy content of 540 kWh, which is supposed to favour a range of up to 300 kilometres already mentioned in advance.
Jonas Odermalm, Vice President of Electromobility Product Management at Volvo Trucks, sheds light on a special feature of the installed transmission drive unit: “Since the truck always starts in the highest possible gear, energy efficiency and savings are achieved thanks to a minimum of gear changes.” Of course, lower gears are available on steep roads or in starting situations that require more torque and control.
In terms of charging, the new trio has AC and DC charging capabilities. Up to 43 kW is supported in the AC range, and up to 250 kW in the DC range. In the latter case, Volvo Trucks says it is possible to recharge up to 80 per cent of the battery capacity in less than 90 minutes.
For buyers of the new electric trucks from the transport industry, Volvo Trucks is also putting together a package of service, maintenance and financing solutions if required. “For entrepreneurs, it is important that the transition to electric trucks is gradual, smooth and easy,” says Odermalm. “They will have a mixed fleet with different powertrains for many years and can continue to use systems like Dynafleet and the same service provider for all their Volvo trucks. The powertrain may be different, but the rest is very similar, so the move to electric trucks is seamless and logical.”
In addition to battery-electric trucks, Volvo Trucks also plans to expand its range to include fuel cell commercial vehicles. Additionally, Volvo is developing the fuel cell powertrains for heavy trucks together with Daimler Trucks, and series production is targeted here for the second half of the decade.
Including reporting by
volvotrucks.de (in German)