Volvo Begins Sales of Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks

·3 min read
Photo credit: Volvo Trucks
Photo credit: Volvo Trucks
  • The truck maker has opened order books for Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX heavy-duty electric trucks, adding to three medium-duty electric trucks already in production.

  • The three new trucks, deliveries of which will begin later this fall, will offer battery capacities of up to 540 kWh.

  • Volvo Trucks had a market share of 42% in 2021 in the category of electric trucks in Europe.

Following the start of production of electric versions of its medium-duty trucks, Volvo has begun accepting orders for three models of electric heavy-duty trucks, set to begin rolling off the assembly line this fall. The Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX will enter production in just a few months, set to be built in a CO2 neutral plant in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This means that by the end of the year, Volvo will have six electric truck models in production, outpacing its competition with market share of 42% in 2021. This gives the truck maker the most complete electric truck lineup currently in the industry, ahead of plans for half of its total truck sales to be battery-electric by the year 2030.

"This is a milestone for Volvo Trucks. There is a lot of interest from customers to place orders for these fantastic trucks," said Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks. "Until now we have mainly offered customers and partners to sign letters of intent to buy, but now we start to sign firm orders, which is a major step forward for electrification."

The tractor versions of the trucks will be offered in 4x2, 6x2, and 6x4 configurations, with gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes (49 tons). The trucks feature two or three electric motors each paired with Volvo's I-Shift transmission, offering between 450 and 666 hp. Each truck offers between two and six battery packs, giving them a capacity between 180 and 540 kWh, with the top range cited at 320 kilometers, or 199 miles. With 25-kW DC charging, the trucks can achieve a full charge in two and a half hours, according to the automaker.

Photo credit: Volvo Trucks
Photo credit: Volvo Trucks

Volvo's heavy-duty trucks are aimed at local and regional distributors, as well as construction companies, utilities, and waste management.

The tractor versions of the three heavy-duty truck models are on sale starting this month, with rigid versions, such as those that underpin dump trucks and box trucks, set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. Volvo has already received orders for 1100 medium-duty trucks, production of which started a few months ago.

Volvo's variety of electric trucks has now eclipsed those of other players in the medium- and heavy-duty category, with Mercedes' eActros being the other notable competitor in this field.

"It's clearly becoming a competitive advantage to be able to offer silent, zero exhaust emission transport solutions," Alm added.

As with EVs, it's fair to say that a number of early movers in the industry have succeeded in capturing quite a bit of a market share at this early stage, though in the case of Volvo and Daimler, they weren't necessarily the competitors with the most publicity early on. Tesla's Semi, first shown in working concept form years ago, is now scheduled to enter production at some point in 2023, while Nikola actually beat Tesla to market, having delivered 11 trucks in April of this year.

In this industry, however, large orders from established truck makers by fleet managers will make or break a lineup or a product launch, and neither Tesla nor Nikola have the history, manufacturing footprint, service support, or global reach of Volvo or Daimler trucks.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned