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Volvo Trucks sounds the horn on the start of VNR electric truck’s availability

Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 15 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

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During a virtual press conference, Volvo Trucks announced that its VNR Electric is now commercially available in the U.S. and Canada. The Volvo VNR Electric truck is designed for applications and driving cycles with local and regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage and pick-up and delivery routes. The 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, which charge up to 80% within 70 minutes on 150-kW chargers, have an operating range of up to 150 miles based on the truck’s configuration. Advanced battery chemistries deliver increased power at reduced costs, while self-learning controls optimize energy usage, according to the OEM. Regenerative braking can increase range by returning power up to 15% back into the battery, depending on the duty cycle. Battery monitoring technology relays the state of health for the energy source in real time, streamlining service needs and maximizing uptime.

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“The Volvo VNR Electric marks a significant step forward for electromobility in an industry that we are committed to leading as it undergoes rapid, significant change,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Volvo Trucks believes and invests in sustainable electromobility. Our deep understanding of the transportation ecosystem—the technology, infrastructure and applications in the trucking industry—have enabled us to deliver a solution that is both advanced yet easy to own and operate.”

The electric driveline is a fully integrated, Volvo-proprietary solution, rated at 455 HP and generating up to 4,051 lb.-ft. of torque. The Volvo VNR Electric features a two-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission that delivers smooth and efficient acceleration. It is built upon the VNR regional-haul model that offers a familiar human-machine interface, operation and design. At the same time, drivers experience a significantly quieter ride and an improved working environment, reducing stress and fatigue and increasing overall comfort, the OEM said.

Models are offered in three configurations:

● Single-axle straight truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,200 lbs.

● Two tractor configurations – 4×2 with a 66,000-lb. gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and 6×2 with an up-to-82,000-lb. GCWR in specific applications.

The Volvo VNR Electric also includes Volvo Trucks’ onboard telematics including Remote Diagnostics and a new real-time battery monitoring service from the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center. Volvo Action Service offers 24/7 access to uptime experts who can quickly manage service, schedule repairs and tackle any other issues that happen on the road.

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Support after the electric truck sale

“In launching the VNR Electric, we’re answering a very real need from fleet customers across North America—to not just deliver a road-tested, battery-electric truck, but to provide them with solutions for the entire life-cycle of the vehicle,” Voorhoeve said. “Before making the VNR Electric truck available to our customers, we thought through every aspect of electrification so they didn’t have to. We have worked alongside our fleet customers to plan beyond the vehicle and have developed an entire support system, ensuring this vehicle meets their needs day-in and day-out.”

To support the sale, Volvo Trucks North America is also offering special financing and insurance solutions through Volvo Financial Services (VFS).

On the service side, Volvo Trucks offers its Volvo Gold contract service as standard with every VNR Electric order. This new offering is a consultative approach, including special bundle payment options from VFS and premium uptime services from Volvo Trucks. The Volvo Gold Contract comes standard with the Volvo VNR Electric. The service offering includes scheduled and preventative maintenance, towing and vehicle repair including the vehicle’s lithium-ion batteries and the complete electromobility system, to ensure peak vehicle uptime, performance and productivity.

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In addition, the Volvo Gold Contract includes the full Uptime Services bundle from Volvo Trucks that customers are already familiar with, which has been enhanced for the Volvo VNR Electric to include a new battery monitoring service that further supports customer uptime and peak operating conditions. Customers will also receive Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics, Volvo Action Service and ASIST via the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center, which offers 24/7 customer support.

With the protection of the Volvo Gold Contract, customers have the full support of the authorized Volvo Trucks dealer network by way of certified Volvo Trucks technicians using Volvo Trucks genuine parts and service procedures, Volvo says.

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What about charging infrastructure support?

It takes a commercial village to raise an electric truck operation and a big part of that is how you install and implement your electric charging infrastructure. Volvo Trucks is investing in that with VFS offering financing solutions for the charging stations needed to support the trucks.

“Because access to on-site charging is such an important consideration for customers transitioning to electric vehicles, VFS is committed to bringing multiple financing solutions for the installation of charging stations, along with the ability to bundle the VNR Electric truck payment with the monthly payment for the Volvo Gold Contract from Volvo Trucks,” the OEM stated in a press release. Additionally, VFS is offering dealer financing options, including floorplan for stock or pre-sold units, along with financing solutions for on-site charging stations. VFS is also offering access to insurance solutions for the VNR Electric in select U.S. markets via third-party licensed agents.

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“VFS financing solutions cover the entire user experience, providing our customers with complete confidence as they integrate the Volvo VNR Electric into their fleet operations,” said Patrick Shannon, president of VFS, Region North America. “By combining the capital for the truck purchase, charging stations and the full range of service and support into one package, VFS is making it easy to accelerate the transition to electromobility. And by supporting our dealer network with similar financing options, we have the entire ecosystem supported from end to end.” 

Volvo Trucks North America promised more truck and operation information in the coming days. Keep it tuned to FE for all of the details. And in the meantime, take a step back to see how Volvo Trucks laid the foundation for this announcement with its LIGHTS Program.

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