Volvo Launching Electric Trucks in California

Volvo Trucks will start demonstrating all-electric trucks in California next year, with a view to commercializing them across North America in 2020.

The project is a collaboration between Volvo and California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and will constitute part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program designed to invest emissions trading revenues in corporate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has awarded $44.8M to the SCAQMD for the project, titled Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions).

The technology used in the project will include eight multi-configuration battery Class 8 electric demonstration units, and 15 pre-commercial and commercial trucks, as well as non-truck battery-electric equipment, non-proprietary chargers and solar energy production equipment. The demonstration units will be based on technology currently used in Volvo’s FE electric truck, due for commercial rollout across Europe next year, but not its recently unveiled Vera self-driving electric truck, which claims zero emissions.

Volvo Trucks also says it will use a number of “smart technologies” for quality control and performance optimization purposes, “including remote diagnostics, geofencing and the company’s web-based service management platform”. The company claims “the project will reduce an estimated 3.57 tons of criteria pollutants (defined air pollutants) and 3020 tons of greenhouse gases annually”.

Volvo Trucks North America president Peter Voorhoeve says Volvo LIGHTS will demonstrate “the end-to-end potential of electrification … from solar energy harvesting at our customer locations, to electric vehicle uptime services, to potential second uses for batteries, this project will provide invaluable experience and data for the whole value chain”.


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