Axle, transmission and gearbox in one unit. That’s very simple but also very clever. It makes perfect sense for saving space for batteries and all the other clutter needed in today’s modern truck. Volvo have puled off this impressive piece of engineering with their completely new, fully electric rear axle. Freeing up space for more batteries, the new e-axle allows for even longer range for Volvo’s battery electric trucks.
The manufacturer has the widest offer of battery electric trucks in the industry, with six different models in serial production. Depending on the model, the range is up to 440 km in one charge.
The new e-axle – presented for the first time at IAA Transportation 2022, in Hanover, this week – allows even more batteries on the truck by integrating the electric motors and the transmission into the rear axle. More batteries mean longer range, which creates opportunities to provide electric solutions for even long-distance transport. On the fuel cell electric trucks that will be introduced in the second half of this decade, the additional space comes in handy for installing other components.
“This is a breakthrough for electric trucks and a clear signal that there will be a huge demand for public fast-chargers for heavy trucks in the near future, not least along highways,” says Jessica Sandström, SVP Global Product Management at Volvo Trucks.
Volvo Trucks will start serial production of cab over engine trucks with the new e-axle in a few years from now and it will complement the current line-up of battery electric trucks.
“We will continue with our versatile battery electric trucks that are already in production. They can currently cover a wide range of transport assignments. In a few years, we will add this new rear e-axle for customers covering longer routes than today,” says Sandström.
Volvo Trucks has a three-path strategy to reach zero emissions; battery electric, fuel cell electric and combustion engines that run on renewable fuels like biogas, HVO or even green hydrogen.
“Different technical solutions are needed to tackle climate change, since the availability of energy and fuel infrastructure differs between countries and regions and also between different transport assignments,” concludes Sandström.