Volvo pushes performance limits with electric test truck

A battery-electric prototype from Volvo Trucks has covered half a million kilometres in two years. The heavy-duty model drives almost 1,000 kilometres a day, six days a week.

Image: Volvo Trucks

How much distance can electric trucks cover in several consecutive years? Volvo is currently seeking answers using a test truck. So far, the battery-electric heavyweight outperforms its diesel counterparts. A conventionally powered truck can cover about 150,000 kilometres in a year. According to the Swedish manufacturer, Volvo’s test truck has already covered 500,000 kilometres in two years.

The test truck is part of an innovation project between Volvo Trucks and Swiss company Designwerk Technologies, of which the Swedes own the majority. Both players are working together on heavy electric trucks to “push boundaries and make the shift to sustainable solutions as soon as possible.”

The electric truck now has a mileage of half a million kilometres and travels for the Swedish Börje Jönsson Group. A logistics company based in Helsingborg that has been advertising 100 per cent fossil-free transports since 2013.

The electric Volvo has been running seven days a week between Helsingborg and Gothenburg in southern Sweden since September 2021, corresponding to a one-way distance of 240 kilometres. On six days, the EV drives almost 1,000 kilometres a day, stopping four times to recharge its batteries. On day seven, the truck is only on the road for half the day and is then charged for the rest of the time.

Commenting on the milestone reached, Jessica Sandström, SVP Global Product Management at Volvo Trucks, says: “500,000 km in only two years is an amazing achievement for this electric truck. It shows that it will be possible to electrify very intense and demanding heavy transports. This is an innovation project, where we are making valuable learnings around, for example, battery performance. These learnings will eventually also benefit our series-produced trucks.”

The Swedish manufacturer currently has six series-produced electric models in its portfolio. The three heavy-duty models FH Electric, FM Electric and FMX Electric – available to order since May 2022 – and the three medium-duty electric truck models Volvo FE, Volvo FL and VNR (for North America). These are produced in four plants. The fourth and larger production plant in Gent in Belgium, was only added in September.

Volvo Trucks has taken orders for about 6,000 electric trucks in 42 countries on six continents. However, the Swedes do not differentiate between medium and heavy-duty units. Volvo Group recently published a sales statistic for the first half of 2023.


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