Volvo Trucks’ Peter Voorhoeve on the pace of innovation, electric truck development and what really matters

Volvo Trucks’ Peter Voorhoeve on the pace of innovation, electric truck development and what really matters

Volvo Trucks North America’s Peter Voorhoeve keeps getting pulled out of the room. The Volvo Trucks booth at Expo Transporte in Pueblo, Mexico, is a sea of eager customers awash in the ebb and flow of flickering flashbulbs, all calling for Peter’s attention. It’s a good problem to have as the president of Volvo Trucks North America. Peter took over the post about a year ago and hit the ground running in a market focused on providing productivity and driver retention/recruitment solutions to today’s fleets while also moving forward on the development of tomorrow’s electric and automated heavy-duty solutions. FE caught up with Peter in between closing truck deals and photo ops. Here’s what he had to say.

Voorhoeve: The industry moves fast, as you can see. We feel the tension in the market, and it’s moving really, really fast.

FE: No kidding. All good problems to have, for sure. I feel that too, but does truck development really move faster or do we just know more through faster communication?

Voorhoeve: Yeah, well, I think it’s a little bit of both right now. In terms of development, we’re more connected internally. We set expectations and maybe we think ‘this will move slowly’ and then it goes very fast.

But it still comes down to: Let’s do this really, really well.  Consider electric truck development.

FE: Right, the VNR Electric is set to launch end of next year, working with the Volvo LIGHTS project that looks to create a holistic picture of electric truck operation.

Voorhoeve: When we look at the application of electric trucks, the availability of the technology and more specifically in the ranges it can deliver, we have a course and vision that we’re mapping out, but we need to see what these trucks can do. And work with the Volvo LIGHTS project to figure out how we create the infrastructure, charging cycles in a commercially and technically viable way. To move forward depends on multiple factors.

FE: Installing chargers, even spec’ing the proper charging station size for your charging plans, getting that energy from the grid—there are lots of questions.

Voorhoeve: That’s the whole thing with capacity. Total use of energy will not be exaggerated but capacity may be. When you charge is when you’ll find out, but that’s not just for Volvo Trucks, that’s an issue for the whole industry.

FE: True, the sustainability angle though—improving the environment as well as creating a productive truck—is a story that Volvo Trucks is putting front and center in its VNR Electric development. Why is that holistic view important to you as a truck OEM?


Voorhoeve: The sustainability message is super important. In 1972, we attended the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment that was held in Stockholm, Sweden, and said, ‘We know we’re part of the problem, and we’re going to be part of the solution.’

Since then, sustainability and care for the environment have been one of our company’s core values. Today, big names in transportation are saying, ‘We want 25% of our fleet to be carbon neutral in 2025’ and others have similar goals. Today it’s more than just marketing, it’s a mission statement.

And that’s not just for electric trucks.

FE: Definitely—you just announced that you were bringing the VNL with GHG 2017 engine technology to the Mexico market. That outpaces the emissions standards of Euro-regulated engines that are currently required here.

Voorhoeve: That’s right, and we did that because we can, because we believe that the Mexico market requires the latest technology and because we need to take care of the environment. You see that we put pictures of local endangered species on the trucks for this show. That’s an example of one of the reasons.

Safety and increasing the quality of the environment are part of our core values. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our families and we owe it to society.

You May Also Like

FTR Trucking Conditions Index improves, but market remains tough for carriers

The outlook is for consistently negative readings for the TCI in 2024.


The latest edition of FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index showed September numbers improving to -8.97 from -12.54 in August. FTR says this is due mostly to more stable fuel prices and modestly stronger freight demand. Market conditions remain quite tough for carriers and the outlook is for consistently negative readings for the TCI into late 2024, FTR said.

The fuel efficiency faceoff begins!

The battle to earn the CDL is over, but the fight to crown a fuel efficiency champion is just getting started.

Canadian grocery fleet to deploy two Volvo VNR Electric trucks

The trucks will run routes in the Montreal area for Loblaw Companies Limited.

FTR: Trailer orders reach highest point of 2023

Orders were at their highest level since December 2022.

Eaton Cummins Endurant XD series transmission now available at Kenworth Mexico

The automated manual transmission is now available in Kenworth T680 and T880 trucks in Mexico and Latin America. 


Other Posts

Mercedes-Benz delivers first eActros 300 semitrailer tractor in Germany

Logistik Schmitt will add a total of six eActros 300 semitrailer tractors to its fleet.

Rizon electric trucks receive EPA and CARB certification

The Class 4 and 5 medium-duty electric trucks are set to begin deliveries in Q4.

Peterbilt delivers Model 520EV refuse vehicle to City of Roses Disposal Recycling

The zero-emissions Model 520EV will provide recycling and waste collection services for the city of Portland.

Taking the commercial driver’s license test

After struggling with shifting, the CDL test is ahead on this episode of the Fuel Efficiency Faceoff.