Volvo Trucks North America has received an order for 50 electric trucks from WattEV. Watt EV will provide the 50 all-electric VNR Electric heavy-duty trucks to carriers in California as part of a Truck-as-a-Service (TaaS) model.
The VNR Electric heavy-duty trucks ordered by WattEV are based on its six-battery package option featuring increased energy storage of 565 kWh and an operational range of up to 275 miles (443 kilometres).
In January this year, Volvo Trucks North America unveiled the next generation of its VNR Electric all-electric heavy-duty truck with longer range and shorter charging times. The Volvo VNR Electric is one of six all-electric heavy-duty truck models from Volvo Trucks developed specifically for the North American market.
WattEV has said that the Volvo VNR Electric trucks will begin operating on routes between California’s San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire, and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles over the next several months.
To support its TaaS model, WattEV says it is also building a public network of charging stations for battery-electric heavy-duty trucks. This charging network should service major transportation corridors, connecting shipping ports with freight distribution centres and warehouse locations.
The first public truck charging depots will feature 250 kW CCS chargers to provide the Volvo VNR Electric trucks with an 80% charge in 90 minutes for the six-battery packs. These will be located in Bakersfield, San Bernardino, and near the Port of Long Beach. WattEV plans to scale its depots to provide 1.2 MW charging capability for ultra-fast charging across the USA.
In May last year, WattEV began building a pilot electric truck stop in California’s San Joaquin Valley, positioned near logistics fulfilment centres run by Amazon and Walmart. The mega-watt charging site will feature a solar micro-grid with battery storage, plus grid energy from PG&E.
WattEV explains that its TaaS model means that shippers and carriers have access to battery-electric trucks at a per-mile rate – which includes charging – that is on par with the total cost of operating diesel trucks.
“Volvo Trucks applauds WattEV’s unique approach to accelerating fleet electrification through its TaaS model, which aims to remove potential barriers to adoption so that fleets of all sizes can get access to electric Class 8 trucks and perform local and regional delivery with zero-tailpipe emissions,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This type of innovative thinking is necessary to transform how the industry transports freight, and we look forward to collaborating with WattEV as they scale their TaaS fleet across California and the nation.”
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