Volvo Trucks revs up electric ambition with 50 per cent EV sales target

The Swedish automaker will launch three new electric models next year | Credit: Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks unveils plans to launch three all-electric models next year and produce hydrogen fuel cell trucks by mid-decade Volvo Trucks has announced it is aiming for half its European sales to be electric by the end of the decade as it outlined plans to significantly boost its range of zero emission vehicles over the coming years. The Swedish truck maker this week confirmed plans to launch three all-electric heavy-duty models for intercity transport and the construction sector by the second half of next year to be followed by vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology during the latter half of the decade.

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The new models will significantly bolster the firm’s existing range of battery-powered trucks, which is currently limited to two models in Europe largely used for urban transportation and one truck in North America, it said.

Volvo Trucks claimed that once the new models come online, its line will have the “most complete commercial electric truck range” of any truck maker, calculating that the range will be able to cover 45 per cent of freight needs in Europe today, Volvo Trucks president Roger Alm said the launch of the three heavy-duty trucks next year represented a “giant step” for the firm and would allow more transport companies to go electric. “There is huge potential to electrify truck transports in Europe, and also in other parts of the world, in the very near future,” Alm said. “To prove this, we have set the ambitious goal to have electric trucks account for half of our sales in Europe by 2030.

And these three new heavy-duty trucks we are now launching mark a giant step towards reaching this target.” The firm also confirmed plans to sell trucks equipped with hydrogen fuel cell technology by the second half of the decade, explaining the technology would be key to decarbonising large, long-distance haulage vehicles. “This technology is developing rapidly and our ambition is also to make the long driving distances electrified, using both batteries and fuel cells,” Alm said. “Our aim is to start selling fuel-cell electric trucks in the second part of this decade and we are confident we can make this happen.”

Automakers have significantly stepped up their investments in electric technology of late as countries unveil ambitious climate goals and corporate fleet electrification pledges multiply. Heavy-duty transport has historically presented a major technical challenge, but researchers have argued that the ‘tipping point’ where electric freight vehicles would be able to compete commercially with diesel vehicles is approaching rapidly. In related news, construction company CCF announced it has added a 27 tonne curtainside battery electric truck to its fleet this week, following a three-year development project with manufacturer Electra.

The partners claim the truck, which has a range of 120 miles and will complete zero emissions deliveries across London, is the first of its type in the UK.