Volvo Trucks launches electric heavy-duty truck pilot program in California

Volvo Trucks has launched its large pilot program in Fontana, California, that will put several of their new all-electric VNR class 8 heavy-duty trucks in service. The Swedish manufacturer recently presented its electric fleet for construction and regional distribution in Europe and has now started commercializing electric trucks for urban transport.

With Volvo’s electromobility technology, the North American subsidiary has been able to integrate these technologies into the VNR model, which currently markets in the North American market.

This demonstration is part of the Volvo’s Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project. It is an initiative funded by 15 public-private partners to demonstrate the viability of transporting 100% of electric goods in urban traffic. Volvo Group is contributing $36.7 million in the $90 million program. At the end of the year, the first phase of series production and commercialization will begin.

In California, the truck is designed for regional and short distance transportation, such as urban distribution, container transport, and other applications where electric trucks will have the greatest impact. The LIGHTS project will help reduce carbon emissions, other pollution, and its noise footprint of the trucking industry.

The project includes the 23 battery-electric Volvo VNR heavy-duty trucks, 29 other electric vehicles such as yard trucks and forklifts. Volvo VNR will be available in multiple configurations with a battery size of 200-300kWh. They will travel routes of 75 to 175 miles depending on load, road conditions, and many other factors. The collected data from these initial journeys will help inform Volvo about how they can improve their offerings.

The partnership also includes 58 public and private charging stations, two colleges developing electric truck maintenance programs, and 1.8 kWh of solar energy generation.