The Volvo VNR Electric will go on sale in the US next month.
With all the controversy surrounding the Tesla Cybertruck, it's easy to forget that Tesla is also building the electric Semi truck. Since its debut alongside the Roadster in 2017, Tesla has remained tight-lipped about its development. After numerous delays, the Tesla Semi is expected to launch in 2021. But Tesla isn't the only automaker building a fully electric semi truck. Next year, Volvo will offer all-electric versions of every heavy-duty truck it sells in Europe.
Volvo Trucks is currently testing electric versions of the Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX heavy-duty trucks, which will be used for "regional transport and urban construction operations in Europe".
These trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration the range could be up to 186 miles.
"By rapidly increasing the number of heavy-duty electric trucks, we want to help our customers and transport buyers to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals. We're determined to continue driving our industry towards a sustainable future," said Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
Since 2019, Volvo Trucks have also been manufacturing the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric trucks, which are designed for city distribution and refuse operations, primarily in Europe. In the US, sales of the Volvo VNR Electric regional transport truck will start on December 3, 2020, meaning it will be available before the Tesla Semi.
"Our chassis are designed to be independent of the driveline used. Our customers can choose to buy several Volvo trucks of the same model, with the only difference being that some are electric and others are powered by gas or diesel," Alm explained. "As regards product characteristics, such as the driver's environment, reliability and safety, all our vehicles meet the same high standards. Drivers should feel familiar with their vehicles and be able to operate them safely and efficiently regardless of the fuel used."
Looking ahead, Volvo also plans to launch electric vehicles designed for demanding and heavy long-haul operations this decade with longer ranges and battery-electric and fuel cell powertrains. Volvo's hydrogen-powered electric trucks will go on sale in the second half of this decade. The Swedish automaker's ultimate goal, however, is to make its entire model range fossil-free by 2040.
Sales of Volvo's new electric trucks will begin next year before volume production begins in 2022.