Volvo Trucks launches sales of new VNR Electric model in U.S., Canada

Volvo VNR Electric
Volvo Trucks North America on Dec. 3 announced the commercial introduction and sales start of its zero tailpipe emission, battery-electric vehicle to the North American market, with a production start of early 2021. (Courtesy: Volvo Trucks North America)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America is now accepting orders for its zero tailpipe emission Class 8 VNR Electric truck in the U.S. and Canada, the manufacturer announced Dec. 3. Production of the battery-electric tractor is scheduled to start in early 2021.

“The Volvo VNR Electric marks a significant step forward for electromobility in an industry that we are committed to leading as it undergoes rapid, significant change,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Volvo Trucks believes and invests in sustainable electromobility. Our deep understanding of the transportation ecosystem — the technology, infrastructure and applications in the trucking industry — have enabled us to deliver a solution that is both advanced yet easy to own and operate.”

The cab and chassis of the VNR Electric model will be manufactured following the same safety criteria as in the traditional VNR truck, and the battery-support carrier system keeps the same standards in mind.

Drivers who are familiar with the gas-powered VNR regional-haul model will benefit from a fast learning curve, ease of operation and service, and a seamless transition from miles per gallon to kilowatt hours per mile, according to a statement from Volvo. In the Volvo VNR Electric, drivers are provided with a familiar human-machine interface, operation and design. At the same time, they’ll experience a significantly quieter ride and an improved working environment, reducing stress and fatigue and increasing overall comfort.

“For us, it is more than just the truck. The transition to electromobility requires a tight stakeholder collaboration. We are committed to working closely with our customers and dealers, providing end-to-end consultative support, matching available incentives, understanding the required charging infrastructure and matching the right model and specifications to their operational needs,” Voorhoeve said. “As we hit this landmark milestone, moving forward with our pioneering customers toward a shared vision of the future, Volvo Trucks is making electromobility accessible, efficient and operationally viable. The future is here, and we are proud to bring this new and very real solution to the North American commercial trucking industry.”

The Volvo VNR Electric is designed for customer applications and driving cycles with local and regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage and pick-up and delivery routes. The 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80% within 70 minutes, have an operating range of up to 150 miles, depending on the truck’s configuration. Advanced battery chemistries deliver increased power at reduced costs, while self-learning controls optimize energy usage. Regenerative braking can increase range by returning power up to 15% back into the battery, depending on the duty cycle. Cutting-edge battery monitoring technology relays the state of health for the energy source in real time, streamlining service needs and maximizing uptime.

The electric driveline is a fully integrated, Volvo proprietary solution, rated at 455 horsepower and generating up to 4,051 lb.-ft. of torque. The Volvo VNR Electric features a two-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission that delivers smooth and efficient acceleration with excellent startability and low-speed maneuverability. Models are offered in three configurations, including a single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 lbs, and two tractor configurations — 4×2 with a 66,000-lb. gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and 6×2 with an up-to 82,000-lb. GCWR in specific applications.

Volvo’s new Gold Contract offering, which provides premium uptime services from Volvo Trucks, is standard with the VNR Electric model.

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