The Electric Future of Volvo Trucks: The Volvo VNR Electric Truck

As the Southeast’s go-to Volvo Truck Dealer, we make it our business to fill you in on the latest innovations and insights from the OEM’s leadership. Our number one priority at Nextran Truck Centers is to provide you with exceptional trucks, parts and service. But we aim to be much more than the partner who keeps you moving forward today. We’re also the partner you can count on to show you where the trucking industry is headed tomorrow and beyond.

As you might imagine, much of the conversation around the future of trucking is centered around the engineering and manufacturing of more sustainable vehicles. And Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, recently shared his thoughts on electromobility and what it means for the future of the Volvo VNR electric truck.

What is Electromobility?

Electromobility, or e-mobility, refers broadly to the use of electric transportation, such as electric cars, trucks, buses, and bikes, that have the ability to store electric energy on board and obtain that energy fully or partially from the power grid. But electromobility won’t just affect the automotive world or the carbon footprint of people’s commutes.

The push for electronic transportation will determine how we plan our cities and transform our infrastructure. The rise of electromobility will lower CO2 emissions, reduce noise pollution and increase our energy efficiency as a society. As Volvo Trucks innovates and gains knowledge from building electric automotive systems in the Volvo VNR electric truck, the OEM plans to change the trucking and construction industries forever.

A Forward-Looking Plan from a Forward-Thinking Volvo Trucks President

Voorhoeve addressed the audience during the keynote session of the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) virtual education series in August. His main message? Electric vehicles are part of our future because our society, our environment and our customers are increasingly demanding it. Next, he revealed the OEM’s specific plan to ensure quick and quality introduction of electric heavy-duty truck technology.

From an outside perspective, it might seem like an obvious move to introduce an existing European electric vehicle model to the United States. However, Voorhoeve notes that the company’s North American truck models have been carefully optimized for the conditions drivers face here. They’ve been engineered with the specific needs of North American customers in mind. That’s why the company is using group technology to transfer the electric driveline into the Volvo VNR, Volvo Trucks North America’s regional haul model.

Building Knowledge Is Critical to Success

Knowledge is power, and Voorhoeve knows it. In his ACT remarks, he emphasized the importance of accumulating insights during the development phase that will help streamline serial production in the near future. In fact, he suggested that, based on promising market potential, the OEM could start scaling production of its Volvo VNR electric, heavy-duty trucks by the end of 2020. Volvo Trucks is rolling out a 70-truck electric fleet this year to complement the handful of its electric trucks already active on California highways.

According to Voorhoeve, everything his team learns along the way will contribute to successful production and adoption, from improving charging logistics to enhancing supporting tools. 

On the financial front, the company is testing new business models that will ease operations. Every side of the business can contribute to the fine-tuning of this revolutionary technology. In his speech, Voorhoeve explained that they’ve already gathered invaluable insight into critical details regarding utility regulations and process snags that can impede installation. Our society’s push toward electromobility will rely on the information and resources gathered by early manufacturers and adopters of electric vehicle technology.

Electromobility Lessons to Learn From and Lead By

Aside from the conclusion that Volvo Trucks is on the forefront of electromobility technology and thought leadership, these were the key takeaways from Voorhoeve’s comments:

  • We need to make sure electromobility is financially feasible through purchase incentives and funding support for a comprehensive, reliable charging infrastructure.
  • Battery technology is advancing at an incredible pace. We won’t be left behind.
  • Fleets must involve local officials and utility entities in the early stages of electric vehicle adoption.
  • We have to work ahead and do rigorous research when using public funding.
  • Appointing a designated electromobility point person within your company is critical.

Contact Nextran Truck Centers, More Than Just Your Volvo Truck Dealer

With 17 locations across the Southeast, we’re more than just your heavy-duty truck dealer or high-quality parts and service provider. We’re your partner for every leg of the journey to help keep you on the road. That includes keeping you up to date on the latest developments affecting the transportation and trucking industry as a whole.

To learn more about maximizing your fleet’s resources with brands like Mack Trucks, VolvoTrucks, Ford or Isuzu, contact Nextran Truck Centers today.


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