Volvo’s electric trucks tested in extreme winter weather

Many of us have experienced it – the battery in the phone loses power when the blistering cold sets in. To avoid the same fate, Volvo Trucks has tested its electric trucks in extremely cold weather close to the Arctic Circle. The result? A feature to maintain battery performance, even when the temperature is far below zero.

“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,” says Jessica Sandström, SVP Product Management at Volvo Trucks.

What happens to a battery-powered truck when the thermometer shows -25° C and hard winds set in? To find out, Volvo Trucks has conducted winter tests in the far northern part of Sweden.
“When testing our trucks out in the field, close to the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, we assess all the unpredictable elements of nature,” continues Jessica Sandström. “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.”

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.
Electric trucks are an important part of the solution for reducing CO2 emissions, but so far they represent only a modest percentage of the total truck market. Only a few hundred all-electric heavy-duty trucks have been delivered to transporters in Europe this year.

“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% of our total truck sales will be electric by 2030,” concludes Jessica Sandström.

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.

Facts about Volvo’s electric trucks:

  • Volvo Trucks have a range of six all electric trucks designed to cover a wide variety of different transport assignments.
  • The Volvo FH, FM and FMX Electric are heavy-duty trucks with a gross combination weight of 44 tonnes. Sales are ongoing in Europe and production will start in the second half of 2022.
  • Serial production in Europe of the Volvo FL and FE Electric, for city distribution and refuse handling, started in 2019.
  • Production of the Volvo VNR Electric for North America began in 2020.