Volvo launches 3 new massive electric heavy-duty truck models, accounting for 2/3 of the company’s sales
Imagine a truck that emits only water vapor, produces its own electricity on board and has a range of up to 600 miles.
Volvo has made this possible with hydrogen-powered fuel cells and started testing a new range of trucks with the technology this summer.
Volvo Trucks begins series production of electric versions of the company’s main range, its heavy-duty trucks: Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX. These trucks can operate with a total weight of 44 tons and the three models account for around two-thirds of the company’s sales.
“We have been developing this technology for a number of years now and it feels great to see the first trucks driving successfully on the test track,” said Roger Alm, President of the Volvo Trucks Division.
“The combination of battery electrics and fuel cell electrics will enable our customers to completely eliminate CO2 exhaust emissions from their trucks, regardless of transport orders. This is a milestone and proves that we are at the forefront of transforming the industry.”
The fuel cell electric trucks will have a range comparable to many diesel trucks – up to 600 miles (1,000 km) – and a refueling time of less than 15 minutes. The total weight can be around 65 tons or more, and the two fuel cells have the capacity to generate 300 kW of electricity on board.
SEE ALSO: New solid-state hydrogen fuel cell design greatly reduces charging times and improves safety
Hydrogen fuel cells are much more practical for cargo or heavy haulage for a number of reasons. First, the addition of the fuel cell unit would overweight a regular passenger sedan, so any theoretical 4-door model would have to be much larger and heavier.
Second, pure hydrogen is not easy to come by for most citizens, and it takes much more time to fill up than regular petrol or diesel.
For freight vehicles or trains that run on schedule and stop at specific facilities, all three of these problems are easily overcome.
MORE GOOD HYDROGEN NEWS: The world’s first 100% hydrogen-powered trains are now running in Germany in regional traffic to replace diesel
Volvo Trucks’ electric portfolio could cover everything 45% of all goods transported in Europe today, mainly because European truck routes are much shorter than in the US (160 miles or 300 km on average) so the need to arrive at a dedicated service station is not an issue .
“We have sold around 1,000 units of our heavy electric trucks and more than 2,600 of our electric trucks in total. We assume that the volumes will increase significantly in the coming years. By 2030, at least 50 percent of the trucks we sell worldwide should be electric,” says Alm.
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