Volvo Trucks is having its electric truck range tested under very low temperatures close to the Arctic Circle. The aim of the manufacturer is to check the ability to maintain battery performance, even when the temperature is far below zero. The key question is: what happens to a battery-powered truck when the thermometer shows -25° C and hard winds set in?
So far, electric trucks represent only a modest percentage of the total truck market, with a few hundred all-electric heavy-duty trucks delivered to transporters in Europe this year. Volvo has lately announced an important order of 10 more FE e-trucks coming from Southern Italy, with the vehicles supposed to be delivered next year. Here’s a post about Volvo Trucks’ electric range.
How Volvo electric trucks are being tested
«We have customers all over the world and our trucks need to perform everywhere, so harsh climate testing is essential, of course including our electric range», said Jessica Sandström, SVP Product Management at Volvo Trucks. «When testing our trucks out in the field, close to the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, we assess all the unpredictable elements of nature. The wind builds up ice on the truck, which gives us great opportunities to make sure that everything performs correctly under extreme circumstances. Our tests have shown that it works very well to operate our electric trucks in these really cold environments».
A new feature: Ready to Run
According to Volvo Trucks, one tangible result of the winter testing is a new feature called Ready to Run. This feature prepares the truck for the workday, when needed by pre-heating, or if operating in very warm weather, by cooling the batteries and the cab of the truck. The optimal temperature for the batteries is around +25° and the driver can easily start the preheating or precooling, remotely via an app. The complete Ready to Run feature will be available on the Volvo FH, FM and FMX Electric that are used for regional haul and light construction.
«We are driving the change and have a leading position in the European market for electric trucks. We already today have electric trucks in serial production and are delivering to customers all over Europe and North America. Our goal is that 50 percent of our total truck sales will be electric by 2030», concludes Jessica Sandström.