Volvo Vehicles North America spent per week bringing clients, companions, and media out to its buyer middle in Dublin, Virginia as a part of its 2022 Electromobility Summit to showcase the work it has finished to steer the electrification of the heavy trucking house. The flagship of Volvo Vehicles’ efforts in North America is the Volvo VNR, a Class 8 semi truck that carries ahead the identical feel and appear of its predecessors to make it straightforward for drivers to hop into, however with a power-packed absolutely electrical powertrain and battery system below the hood.
CleanTechnica attended and spent a while behind the wheel of the VNR, talked to Volvo’s specialists, and realized in regards to the path ahead for Volvo’s thrilling line of heavy responsibility vehicles. The Volvo VNR is already in manufacturing at Volvo Vehicles’ New River Valley manufacturing unit with quite a few automobiles within the arms of shoppers throughout North America. A key piece of the journey to transform fleets from largely diesel-powered to totally electrical is schooling. To make sure its clients have been arrange for achievement, Volvo Vehicles overhauled its gross sales course of to combine a ton of schooling and extra companies, remodeling its gross sales group right into a full blown electrical transformation session and financing store.
Disclaimer: Volvo Vehicles paid for the writer’s journey and lodging to attend this occasion.
Training, Gross sales, & Companies
It makes tons of sense when you concentrate on it. Swapping out the powertrain of a large heavy responsibility class 8 truck for a pair of electrical motors and a battery modifications nearly all the pieces of their enterprise. Upkeep cycles are drastically lowered as frequently scheduled brake modifications, exhaust system upkeep, and engine tuning are all however eradicated. The variable value of diesel gas and the truck stops offering it’s changed with an electrical grid and a brand new, ever-expanding community of public EV quick chargers. Gasoline tanks are changed with banks of batteries. Acquainted diesel vehicles and variable gas payments are flipped on their heads with electrical vehicles carrying steeper value tags up entrance, all of the whereas promising decrease ongoing gas and upkeep prices.
It’s lots to absorb and having constructed and serviced automobiles for his or her clients for almost 100 years, Volvo understands that switching to a completely electrical fleet is usually a lot to absorb for fleet managers. To ease the problem of the transition, Volvo developed a complete gross sales resolution that’s closely biased in the direction of offering clients with the foundational schooling wanted to stand up to hurry with a completely electrical fleet.
Integrating these processes into the gross sales session not solely makes it simpler for purchasers to Volvo Vehicles to be a one-stop store to impress their fleets, nevertheless it additionally represents a number of new vertical revenue facilities for Volvo Vehicles. Increasing into offering insurance coverage, financing, charging station session, charging station suggestions, and different ancillary companies is useful for purchasers and lets Volvo Vehicles take a slice of the monetary pie at every step of the best way. It’s a win-win.
These new companies stack on prime of Volvo’s current service networks that are being upgraded and certified for Volvo’s new electrical automobiles. Right now, Volvo has 18 service facilities certified for electrical automobiles in North America with one other 55 within the technique of being certified. Volvo shared that sellers are desperate to make the transfer to electrical and the numbers mirror this actuality.
A Customized Vary Estimator
The muse of Volvo Vehicles’ new gross sales course of is a brand new vary estimator that helps fleet managers see into the longer term with a digital route simulator for electrical vehicles. Fleet mangers know what distance their drivers are touring every day and the way gas consumption fluctuates all through the seasons, however how does that translate to the world of absolutely electrical vehicles? Volvo Vehicles constructed a extremely detailed route simulator to estimate battery consumption on actual routes with the power to regulate temperature, load, common pace, and extra.
The Electrical Efficiency Generator is however one a part of a holistic strategy to serving to clients transition their fleets to electrical to assist potential clients higher perceive how the price of gas will change, when charging ought to happen, and the way the state of well being of the battery will evolve as they give the impression of being to a world of absolutely electrical transportation. Strolling via actual world eventualities utilizing routes their drivers run each day and portray an image for what that might appear like in an electrical truck has proved to be useful in bridging the hole.
Volvo Vehicles conservatively estimates the VNR to devour round 2kWh per mile for a completely loaded truck however clearly this is determined by the climate, geography, and the way full the truck truly is. Utilizing conservative values within the vary estimator ensures fleet managers gained’t be shocked when the rubber hits the highway in the actual world. Volvo Vehicles has run a whole lot of detailed simulations with actual world information and continues to refine the device based mostly on buyer suggestions.
Traction With Key Clients
Most of the early adopters of Volvo’s absolutely electrical vehicles began out with a pilot of round 10 or 20 vehicles. Now, Volvo is now seeing lots of these early clients dive in with orders within the a whole lot as they give the impression of being to broaden their absolutely electrical fleets, plugging instantly into the newest and best absolutely electrical choices from Volvo. The rise in vary that got here with the second technology VNR vehicles additionally expanded the variety of routes that could possibly be served.
Orders from established logistics suppliers like QCD, Producers Dairy, and Penske in addition to truck-as-a-service upstart WattEV demonstrates the utility of Volvo’s full electrical, heavy vehicles in North America. These orders construct on Volvo’s lengthy historical past within the heavy trucking house and make it clear that numerous their clients need to get on board for the journey.
Volvo Vehicles has finished a ton of labor on the VNR to make sure it delivers a like-for-like expertise within the cabin relating to the driving force expertise. Steering, shifting, air-con, and the format of the inside cabin is all almost equivalent to its combustion-fired counterpart. Wanting past North America, Amazon simply dropped an order for 20 of Volvo’s absolutely electrical FH cab-over truck in Germany, making it clear that upgrading fleets to totally electrical heavy vehicles isn’t only a North America phenomenon.
It’s clearly nonetheless early days for heavy responsibility electrical vehicles, however that’s not stopping Volvo Vehicles from going all in on constructing aggressive absolutely electrical vehicles as we speak. Volvo is dedicated to a way forward for zero accidents and 0 emissions and the vehicles we noticed, the individuals at Volvo Vehicles we talked with, and the shopper orders make a compelling case for Volvo Vehicles’ management position in taking us there.
The longer term is electrical.
Due to Volvo Vehicles, the zero emission future is prepared for fleet managers to order as we speak they usually’re being constructed proper right here in America.
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