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Volvo Trucks is planning to introduce electric trucks to the European market in 2019 in a bid to not only cut emissions but keep trucks off the road during peak hours.

Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks says by using electrically powered and quieter trucks for goods transport in urban areas, the manufacturer will meet several challenges simultaneously.

“Without disturbing noise and exhaust gases, it will be possible to operate in more sensitive city centres. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and at night. This will reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utillised far more effectively than today,” he explains.

Cutting time and costs

A recent project, Off Peak City Distribution, conducted by Stockholm City, Sweden and KTH Royal Institute of Technology studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. Since the trucks avoided having to operate in rush-hour traffic, transport assignments were carried out in one-third of the normal time.

If a larger proportion of transport assignments could be carried out during hours when fewer people are on the road, it will also significantly reduce the risk of accidents the manufacturer says.

Full electrification

“Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of charging infrastructure, and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for electrical trucks,” adds Jonas Odermalm, Head of Product Strategy for Medium Duty Vehicles at Volvo Trucks.

“We believe in full electrification for urban distribution as a first step. However, we are working with electrification for other transport applications. This is only the beginning”, concludes Claes.

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