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Volvo Trucks Is Making Great Progress On Electric Truck Sales, But Isn’t Letting Safety Slide

In the first quarter of 2023, Volvo Trucks emerged as the market leader in heavy electric trucks across Europe and North America. The Swedish truck manufacturer has successfully sold nearly 5,000 electric trucks across approximately 40 countries. Currently, Volvo Trucks is expanding its electric product offerings to additional markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. But, according to its recent press releases, the company hasn’t let this success go to its head and inspired complacency.

Success Continues In 2023

In the first quarter of 2023, European registrations for electric trucks weighing 16 tons and above reached 600, marking a significant increase of over four times the 134 registrations recorded during the same period in 2022. Volvo Trucks holds the largest market share at 50%, up from its 32% share for the entire year of 2022. Additionally, Volvo Trucks continues to dominate the North American heavy electric truck market, capturing nearly half of the market share on this side of the pond, too.

“Our commitment to sustainable transport is clearly paying off. We are determined to work closely together with our customers to decarbonize truck transport,” says Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.

In the first quarter of 2023, the countries with the highest number of registered electric trucks across all brands were Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The company has accomplished this with a range of six different EV trucks. In the previous year, Volvo expanded its electric lineup by introducing three of the most sought-after 44-ton heavy-duty trucks: the Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX. With these additions, Volvo Trucks now has six electric truck models in series production, boasting the industry’s broadest range of zero exhaust emission trucks.

Volvo Trucks is currently ramping up electric truck production at three facilities located in Gothenburg, Sweden; Blainville, France; and New River Valley, United States. Furthermore, serial production is set to commence at Volvo’s largest plant in Ghent, Belgium, during the third quarter of 2023.

A Big Deal Expands Sales Even Further

Volvo Trucks has entered into a letter of intent to sell 1,000 electric trucks to Holcim, a leading global building solution provider, between now and 2030. This agreement represents the largest commercial order for Volvo electric trucks to date. The initial batch of 130 trucks is scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

Holcim, a Switzerland-based global building solutions manufacturer, has collaborated with Volvo Trucks to plan the integration of 1,000 electric Volvo trucks into Holcim’s European operations by 2030. The initial delivery of 130 electric Volvo FH and Volvo FM trucks is slated for the fourth quarter of 2023 and throughout 2024. These trucks will be distributed to markets such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.

This agreement stems from a broader partnership between Holcim and Volvo Group.

“Long-term collaboration and a strong commitment to really make a difference are essential for making big CO2 reductions a reality. I’m very proud of the partnership we have developed with Holcim, and the results we are achieving together,” says Martin Lundstedt, President & CEO Volvo Group.

The replacement of 1,000 Volvo FH diesel trucks with Volvo FH Electric trucks powered by green electricity on a standard route could result in an annual reduction of up to 50,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

Both companies have pledged their commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative, which promotes ambitious climate action within the private sector. Additionally, both Holcim and Volvo Group are founding members of the First Movers Coalition (FMC).

How Volvo Trucks Is Avoiding Complacency

Despite all of this success, Volvo wasn’t strictly self-congratulating and self-promoting in its releases. The company made it pretty clear that it is still trying to be innovative and keep the success going forward.

To facilitate the expansion of electric truck usage, thousands of public charging points for heavy trucks will be required. In collaboration with Daimler and Traton, Volvo Group plans to construct a minimum of 1,700 high-performance green energy public chargers throughout Europe. Additionally, the group is investing in the development of a charging corridor in North America.

The company has also introduced an Augmented Reality (AR) safety app for electric trucks, specifically aimed at assisting first responders during emergencies. The app is designed to provide immediate, crucial information from the electric truck to the emergency services team arriving at the scene, guiding them in real-time and ensuring safe rescue conditions.

According to the company, they know that electric trucks are poised to transform the world, not only by making transportation more sustainable but also by altering the way we drive and interact with the trucks themselves. The technology used in these vehicles, particularly the high-voltage systems that power heavy electric trucks, is also reshaping the approach to emergency response. This new technology necessitates the development of unique safety parameters and routines.

“Volvo Group’s overall ambition is to deliver 100 percent safe products. We are proud to be at the forefront of the electric truck revolution with high-performing solutions, but we also recognize the importance of ensuring the safety of first responders who are called to an emergency should an incident with an electric vehicle occur,” says Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer Volvo Group. “The new AR app is a powerful tool that can support the emergency services to quickly and safely secure the site, while minimizing the risk of injury to themselves and others.”

The Emergency Response Guide app, now available for free download on Android and Apple stores, offers safety information for all Volvo Group heavy electric truck brands, including Volvo Trucks, Renault Trucks, and Mack Trucks. The AR features for Mack electric trucks will be introduced in June 2023.

The safety app utilizes a combination of connectivity, cameras, sensors, 3D modeling, and augmented reality overlays to provide first responders with a detailed view of the vehicle. It supplies information on the location of high-voltage cables, battery packs, and other crucial components, along with step-by-step instructions for safely shutting down the electric vehicle’s power supply during emergencies.

The safety app was created by a team of specialists at Volvo Group’s Research & Development facilities in Sweden, France, and the United States. In addition to augmented reality information and 3D models, the app includes all safety documentation related to the electric truck. This documentation will be accessible to the app user once the truck is identified.

“The safety app has been tested in a variety of real-world scenarios and has received positive feedback from first responders who have tried it in the field,” says Vincent Barnoux, AR Expert & Business Solution Engineer at Volvo Group.

Featured image provided by Volvo Trucks.

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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


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