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Volvo’s VNR Electric goes into production early next year

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Volvo Trucks North America will begin rolling out the first commercially available VNR Electric model from its assembly plant in Virginia from early next year.

Former VGA Australia boss Peter Voorhoeve, now President of Volvo Trucks North America, said that in launching the VNR Electric, the Swedish manufacturer is answering a “very real need” from fleet customers across North America

“To not just deliver a road-tested, battery-electric truck, but to provide them with solutions for the entire life-cycle of the vehicle,” he said at a media event last week.

The VNR Electric trucks rolled out next year are reported to have an operating range of about 150 miles (241km). According to US reports, it’s already in pilot programs transporting goods back and forth from Southern California’s port complex to inland distribution centres.

Voorhoeve said typical customers would use them for regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage and pick-up and delivery routes.

The VNR has 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80 percent within 70 minutes. The electric powertrain is rated at 455 horsepower and generates up to 4,051 pound-feet of torque. The Volvo VNR Electric uses a two-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission. It needs a very low gear to start the truck into motion.  

Volvo is taking orders for the truck in three configurations. The base is a single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 nlbs. There are two tractor configurations – 4×2 with a 66,000-pound gross combination weight rating and 6×2 with an up-to 82,000-pound weight rating.

Voorhoeve told media that that hydrogen fuel cell commercial trucks would likely become the preferred mode for long haul freight. Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG created a joint venture to pursue this technology earlier this year.

Volvo’s goal is to start selling electric trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells in the second half of this decade.

“Across the globe, Volvo Trucks is leading the electrification race,” said Roger Alm, President of Volvo Truck Corporation

“By introducing a robust lineup of all-electric commercial vehicles in both Europe and North America, we are delivering on our promise to drive this industry toward a sustainable future.

“Volvo doesn’t view transportation electrification as a disruption of the existing market—we see it as an opportunity to invent something completely new and transformational. We are proud to collaborate with our partners around the world to bring this vision to life, and it is especially impressive to see what is being done together with our partners in North America.”

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