Volvo introduces its first electric truck, the FL Electric

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 10:16
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Volvo introduced its new FL platform for 16-tonne applications last month and has now unveiled its electrified version of that design, the FL Electric. Engineered to be variable according to need, the FL Electric is suitable for urban distribution, refuse operations, and similar requirements.

The Volvo FL Electric is fully electrified, operating as a battery-electric truck. Powered by a 130 kW continuous output (185 kW peak) motor, the truck’s motor can output 425 Nm (313 lb-ft). The drivetrain then compounds that to 16 kNm (11,801 lb-ft) through the rear axle. That’s more than enough power for a truck with a gross weight of up to 16 tonnes (35,000 pounds).

The range for the Volvo FL Electric will depend on need. Volvo has built the truck to be modular so that battery costs can be minimized and suited directly to the user’s requirements. Calling these “holistic solutions,” Volvo Truck’s head of product strategy for the FL and FE, Jonas Odermalm describes a combination of driving cycles, load capacities, and expected uptime being used to determine range, charging infrastructure, and so forth. The FL Electric is designed to have a range of up to 300 km (186 miles) from batteries ranging from 100 to 300 kWh.

Similarly, charging times for those batteries would vary depending on total capacity and charging type. The largest batteries (300 kWh) would require about two hours with high-speed DC charging and about 10 hours through standard AC charging. Volvo has teamed with a variety of charge solution providers for this customization.

Volvo says that the FL Electric has begun entering regular operations with customers in Gothenburg, Sweden where Volvo Trucks is based. One is being used as a refuse collection (garbage) truck with Renova and the other as a goods transport truck with TGM. Volvo cites studies done which highlight how nighttime operations (possible through quieter electric trucks) and more optimized urban housing can be possible if electric trucks become the norm.

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