Volvo Trucks North America announced that in 2019 it will demonstrate an all-electric Volvo semi truck, which it expects to go into production in 2020.
The company plans to introduce all-electric Volvo VNR regional-haul demonstrators in California next year, operating in distribution, regional-haul and drayage operations. Sales of the VNR Electric in North America will begin in 2020.
“The Volvo VNR Electric leverages the versatility of the new Volvo VNR series with a proven fully-electric powertrain, and represents a strategic stride toward a comprehensive electrified transport ecosystem. Cities prioritizing sustainable urban development can leverage electrified transport solutions to help improve air quality and reduce traffic noise. Cleaner, quieter, fully-electric commercial transport also creates opportunities for expanded morning and late-night operations, helping cut traffic congestion during peak hours.”
Volvo has announced two other electric vehicles in the past: the Volvo FL Electric, which is a smaller "urban transport" truck, as well as the recently announced Volvo FE, an all-electric garbage truck. The Volvo VNR Electric demonstration units will be based on propulsion and energy storage technology currently being used in the Volvo FE Electric. Sister company Volvo Buses has sold more than 4,000 electrified buses since 2010.
Introduction of the Volvo VNR Electric models are part of a partnership, known as LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) between the Volvo Group, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and industry leaders in transportation and electrical charging infrastructure.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has preliminarily awarded $44.8 million to SCAQMD for the Volvo LIGHTS project. The Volvo LIGHTS project will involve 16 partners, and will transform freight operations at the facilities of two of the United States’ top trucking fleets.
Tesla's electric semi, which has already been spotted on California roads, is also set to hit production in 2019. Fuel cell trucks from Nikola Motors are also expected to debut in 2019 and hit the roads in 2021.