Electric trucks and vans for urban distribution and municipal work appear to be slowly gaining traction as more manufacturers put electric trucks into serial production.  For example, Volvo Trucks already manufacturing the FL and FE Electric models with one already in operation in London.

Now Volvo have taken it a step further and are trialling a 60-tonne gross combined weight all-electric Volvo FH on longer distance work.

The company has partnered with DHL Freight to speed up the introduction of heavy-duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport in Europe. 

Volvo FH Electric
DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks are conducting the first worldwide pilot tests of a fully electric Volvo FH truck with gross combination weights up to 60 tonnes

All-Electric Trunking Operation

 Starting in March, the truck will operate between two DHL Freight logistics terminals in Sweden, a distance of approximately 150km. During the trial, Volvo and DHL will gain important experience and information regarding the setup and operation of an adequate charging infrastructure. The collected insights will help to optimise the right balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations.

 DHL is actively working with Volvo Trucks on the reduction of their ecological footprint, with sustainability being an integral part of the company’s strategy.

 “Our aim is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero. Important milestones have already been achieved in meeting this. Compared to 2007, our Group’s CO2 efficiency has improved by 35%. However, we need innovative technological solutions and strong partnerships along this journey,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO at DHL Freight.

Volvo FH Battery Electric Truck
The truck will operate between two DHL Freight logistics terminals in Sweden

Challenge – Broader than the Electric Truck

Volvo Trucks is driving the necessary shift towards fossil free road transport by making the transition to electrification as seamless and efficient as possible. This is done by considering every aspect of the eco-system for electrification, including charging, route planning, vehicles, service and other support.

 “The transport business is changing rapidly and to be sustainable is an increasingly important business advantage for many of our customers,” says Roger Alm, President at Volvo Trucks.

 “We offer effective transport solutions that help make a fast transition to fossil-free fuels such as electricity. We have a longstanding relationship with DHL. Their broad and global expertise in logistics allows us to study the conditions to progress with this technology shift, adapting it to customer needs and their type of transport operation.”

Charging an electric Volvo FH
The trial will help with the setup and operation of an adequate charging infrastructure

 DHL Freight is actively driving various sustainability and fossil-free technology projects and has introduced a climate-focused shipping program in Sweden. Customers using the program pay a fixed surcharge for every parcel or pallet shipped and the income generated from the surcharges is fully invested in clean technologies within the Swedish network.

 “The logistics sector is facing a huge challenge, which also offers a great opportunity at the same time – the decarbonisation of freight transportation. The collaboration with Volvo Trucks helps DHL Freight to play an even bigger role in the transition to sustainable alternatives and is another significant proof point for our long-term strategy towards climate-neutral transportation,” explains Robert Zander, CEO of DHL Freight Sweden.

“Our commitment is that our entire truck sales range will be fossil-free by 2040 at the latest,” concludes Alm.

Electric Volvo FH on Road
The truck looks great too