The Volvo FM Electric was taken for a test run through Cunninghams Gap last week to see how it performed, loaded at 41.7 tonnes.
Volvo Group Australia’s Matt Wood was behind the wheel, steering the combination through the steep stretch of road.
Cunninghams Gap passes over the Great Dividing Range between the Darling Downs and the Fassifern Valley in Queensland – with an 8-degree grade on the descent.
The 666hp Volvo FM Electric has a maximum gross combination weight (GCM) of up to 44 tonnes and a range of up to 300 kilometres, delivering 490 kilowatts of continuous power.
Wood says he had a great time exploring the capabilities of the FM Electric. “What a great bit of gear to drive,” he said. “It’s charged with 100 per cent green, Queensland made energy.”
The Volvo FM Electric picked up 14 per cent regeneration into the battery on the way down, thanks to the truck’s regenerative braking.
“While the likelihood of anyone needing to drive a loaded electric combination up Cunninghams Gap is probably pretty low at the moment we just wanted to give it a go,” Wood said.
“We are pitching our initial heavy duty electric offering at local and urban distribution which traditionally cubes out in terms of volume before it maxes out due to weight, which is perfect in our current offering.
“However it was worth the effort to take the FM Electric up the mountain at close to maximum weight just to see how it performed, which I might add was seamless.
“I’ve got to say that it was the smoothest ascent and descent of Cunninghams I’ve ever undertaken, even with the current roadworks on the Gap.”