Battery update for Volvo FL Electric and FE Electric
Volvo Trucks is giving its medium-duty electric truck models, the FL Electric and the FE Electric, more range with improved batteries. The two upgraded electric trucks can now be ordered. Deliveries are scheduled to start in autumn 2023.
At the sales launch of the battery-electric Volvo FL in 2019, customers could choose between two and six lithium-ion battery packs with 50 kWh each. The manufacturer has since increased the energy content per pack to 66 kWh. Now comes the next step: Volvo introduces battery packs with a further 42 per cent more energy capacity, which corresponds to around 94 kWh. The manufacturer does not go into detail at this point. It therefore remains unclear exactly how the improvement was achieved.
Three to six packs can be installed in the FL Electric. That corresponds to a capacity of 280 to 565 kWh and should enable a range of 280 (three packs) to 450 kilometres (six packs) in distribution traffic. Nothing changes regarding the single-engine powertrain – the 16.7-tonne truck continues to produce up to 180 kW at peak power. Volvo does not provide any information about charging. Until now, the truck could charge with up to 150 kW at CCS charging points.
For the FE Electric, the improvement means that the 27-tonne truck will have a 280 to 375 kWh battery (three or four packs) and a range of up to 275 kilometres. According to Volvo, this figure applies to distribution transport without electro-mechanical PTO. With electro-mechanical PTO – typical for refuse collection – range is reduced to up to 200 kilometres. There are no changes to the driveline and the twin-engine drive still has up to 225 kW.
“With a range of up to 450 km, our electric trucks are ready to replace our customers’ entire fleet of diesel city trucks. Volvo FL and FE Electric produce minimal emissions and noise, which benefits the climate, the driver and everyone that lives and moves about in the city”, says Jessica Sandström, SVP Product Management at Volvo Trucks.
Alternatively, customers can opt for smaller batteries (and shorter range) to increase their payload. Volvo says it is about “500 kg for every battery not carried”. “For some customers, it’s more important to get extra payload, rather than maximizing the range. We work closely with our customers in choosing the best solution,” Sandström adds.
According to the company, almost 5,000 electric trucks have been sold in 40 countries worldwide since Volvo Trucks started producing all-electric trucks in 2019. However, the manufacturer does not differentiate by weight class here. In addition to the two medium-duty electric trucks mentioned above, the Swedes also have the heavy-duty FH, FM and FMX models in their portfolio. Volvo Trucks wants half of all trucks sold worldwide to be electric by 2030.