Volvo begins mass production of heavy duty electric trucks

This image shows workers at Volvo Trucks’ plant in Sweden.

Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks said Wednesday that production of three electric heavy-duty truck models is currently underway, and the automaker’s president told CNBC the news represents “an important moment” for the company. .

In a statement, Volvo Trucks said the electrified Volvo FM, Volvo FMX and Volvo FH vehicles can run with a combined weight of 44 tonnes.

According to the company, FM electric’s range is up to 380 kilometers, or just over 236 miles. The range of the FMX and FH is 320 km and 300 km, respectively.

The company says production is starting at a facility in Gothenburg, Sweden. Next year production will begin at a site in Ghent, Belgium.

The batteries will be supplied by a Volvo Trucks factory in Ghent. Volvo Trucks, a division of the Volvo Group, says it currently has “six models of electric trucks in mass production globally.”

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday morning, Volvo Trucks President Roger Alm was upbeat about the company’s future prospects.

“We actually sold 1,000 of these heavy-duty electric trucks before production started,” he said. Elm went on to add that the business sees “a growing need before our eyes.”

In comments published on his company’s website, Elm said that, by 2030, “at least 50% of the trucks we sell globally must be electric.”

For trucks as well as cars, adequate charging options will be important when it comes to allaying concerns about “range anxiety,” a term that refers to the idea that electric vehicles cannot perform. long trips without losing power and running aground.

In an interview with CNBC, Volvo Trucks’ Alm was asked about charging infrastructure. “Of course, we need… to build the infrastructure of the toll network, that’s very important,” he said.

Hope Hydrogen

Earlier this year, Volvo Trucks said it had started testing vehicles using “hydrogen fuel cells” with the Swedish company claiming their range can extend to 1,000 kilometers or a little over 621 miles.

In a statement, the company said refueling the vehicles would take less than 15 minutes. Customer pilot programs will begin over the next few years, with commercialization “planned for the latter part of the decade.”

Volvo Trucks’ focus on zero-emission technologies puts it in competition with companies like Tesla and Daimler Trucksboth are developing electric trucks.

Like Volvo Trucks, Daimler Truck is focusing on both battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles. In March 2021, Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group formed cellcentric, a 50:50 joint venture focused on the production of fuel cells.

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