Volvo Ice-Proves its BEV Trucks

Volvo says it has proved its BEV heavy-duty trucks can cope with ice-cold weather conditions long seen as the Achilles heel of the technology.

So, it took its test trucks into the Artic Circle at the far north of its Swedish homeland to find out what happens to a battery-powered truck when the thermometer shows -25° C and hard winds set in. One tangible result of the winter testing is a new feature called Ready to Run. This feature prepares the truck for the workday, when needed by pre-heating, or if operating in very warm weather, by cooling the batteries and the cab of the truck. The optimal temperature for the batteries is around +25° and the driver can easily start the preheating or precooling, remotely via an app.

Electric trucks are an important part of the solution for reducing CO2 emissions but so far they represent only a modest percentage of the total truck market. Only a few hundred all-electric heavy-duty trucks have been delivered to transporters in Europe this year.
Volvo Trucks have a range of six all electric trucks designed to cover a variety of different transport assignments. The Volvo FH, FM and FMX Electric are heavy-duty trucks with a gross combination weight of 44 metric tons. Sales are ongoing in Europe and production will start in the second half of 2022.

Jessica Sandström, senior vice-president product management at Volvo Trucks, said: “When testing our trucks out in the field, close to the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, we assess all the unpredictable elements of nature. The wind builds up ice on the truck, which gives us great opportunities to make sure that everything performs correctly under extreme circumstances. Our tests have shown that it works very well to operate our electric trucks in these really cold environments.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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