Truckie weighs in on Australia’s first Volvo electric truck

The first electric Volvo truck on Australian roads has now completed 6000 kilometres and over 5200 kilowatt hours – here’s what the truckie who drives it has to say.

Rob Smith has been a truckie at Linfox for over 17 years. He currently operates out of the BevChain Distribution Centre in Melbourne’s outer west.

For the past seven months or so, he’s been behind the wheel of a Volvo FL Electric.

With this truck, he runs various routes across the city to deliver Victoria Bitter and other Asahi Beverages beers to pubs, restaurants and bottle shops. “I love the freedom of the job, and meeting people,” Smith said.

“The truck itself is actually quite peaceful to drive, in some ways it’s just like any other truck but in others it’s smoother, quieter, it’s enjoyable.

“When I hop out of the truck, I don’t hear engine noise and I don’t have the fumes.”

As the first truck of its kind on Australian roads, Smith says it attracts a lot of attention. “You get a lot more eye contact on the road as people look at it. It’s great, I get a lot of questions.

Everyone wants to know where the batteries are, people are very interested in the lack of noise and how far it goes, is it good to drive, things like that.”

He adds that the truck been going well. “It’s doing the job of a diesel truck. Trucks like this one are the future,” he said.

Paul Illmer, Volvo Group Australia’s vice president of emerging technologies also weighed in. “You can’t get a much better voice of authority than the end user of the product,” he said.

“We can continue to point out the real-world benefits of zero emissions vehicles, but it’s ultimately the people that interact with this vehicle on a daily basis that will help educate others to their advantages.

“A smooth drivetrain, lack of fumes and noise create a calmer work environment, but it’s also the flow-on benefits to society as a whole that will drive towards a future of cleaner, quieter cities.”

Illmer also says that the zero emissions journey in Australia is “accelerating faster than many can imagine”.

Executive chairman at Linfox, Peter Fox added, “Linfox is thrilled to see this new electric vehicle inspiring positive conversations as we lead the way in sustainable transport.

“The benefits are coming to life right throughout our community. Our skilled drivers are at the wheel of a new age; our customers are enjoying more sustainable logistics solutions and people on our streets are starting to see the everyday benefits of zero emission vehicles.”

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