Volvo makes the longest all-electric truck journey in Australia
As previously reported about Clean Technica, Australian states and territories are reviewing trucking regulations around the width and weight of prime movers and their “dogs”. Various trials are being conducted across the country to ensure Australia is ready for electric trucks. Volvo is now pleased to announce that it has completed the longest all-electric heavy truck journey in Australian history. A Volvo FH Electric truck traveled from Queensland to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to achieve the feat.
Early this month, the Volvo FH Electric covered 1,185 kilometers (about 760 miles) over 48 hours from Brisbane in Queensland to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. It was Australia’s longest ever journey in an electric van, and further proof of the potential of zero-emission interstate charging. The FH Electric can carry up to 44 tonnes over a distance of over 300km and is primarily intended for urban distribution roles. As Volvo Trucks Australia seeks to decarbonise as much of its urban supply chain as possible, the opportunity to test and learn on an interstate route was a great opportunity to push the boundaries of what is possible with Volvo’s existing BEV offering.
Volvo describes the FH Electric as follows: “Three electric motors combined with the I-Shift gearbox equipped for electric mobility provide a smooth and powerful driving experience. The enormous power of up to 490 kW/666 hp is handled by a unique traction control system developed Also for controlling slippery surfaces.Various driving modes are available to adjust the levels of performance, comfort and required power usage.Six battery packs produce up to 540 kWh, ensuring sufficient range for many regional transport tasks.
To complete the journey, the Volvo FH Electric Truck had to be charged 8 times for an average of 1.5 hours of charging time. Basically, the trip was broken down into 2 hours of driving and then 1.5 hours of charging. To ensure that the trip was consistent with legal driving hours, Volvo used drivers to complete the trip. To ensure the journey is as “green” as possible, the Volvo team used the Evie charging network, which runs solely on renewable energy sources. Another benefit of using the Evie network was the company’s 350 kWh DC chargers. However, the team was not prepared to share the load across multiple shipping locations. Since others were also using the sites to charge their cars, the 350 kWh was often shared across chargers, slowing down the charging process. The maximum charge at these sites was 220 kWh, while some sites were as slow as 170 kWh.
Compared to a loaded diesel truck with the same gross weight of 32.2 tonnes, Volvo estimates around 1,200kg of carbon has been saved. The flight took about 22 hours in total, about 8 hours longer than a conventional diesel flight. The Volvo FH Electric can have a range of up to 300km and is one of the only OEM heavy electric trucks available in Australia for regional work.
“At the Volvo Group we are always trying to push the boundaries to decarbonize heavy transport faster. Today we set a new record for the longest journey in an electric truck in Australia. This is also the first journey for FH Electric that cannot “The recently announced temporary changes to the front axle weight restrictions have enabled this journey and demonstrated what is possible in terms of zero-emission intercity transport, but we need to see coordinated permanent changes.” Front axle weight restrictions across every state and territory to accelerate the next phase of generating sustainable mobility and achieving our climate goals.
The arrival of the Volvo FH Electric BEV coincided with the delivery of Australia’s first zero-emission logistics vehicle to Canberra for the ACT Emergency Services Agency. The FL Electric was first unveiled in August at the Australian Fire and Authorities Conference in Brisbane. The ACT ESA vehicle is a FL Electric model and will be used for logistics missions by ACT ESA. It is expected to enter service early next year, after training drivers and implementing the vehicles. The FL can carry 16 tons for a distance of up to 450 km and is suitable for restricted city environments.
The ACT has Australia’s most ambitious net zero emissions target – net zero by 2045 (the federal government’s emissions target is net zero by 2050). The purchase of the electric truck is seen as a crucial step in decarbonizing the transportation sector and achieving this goal.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services also orders Volvo. Volvo 6×4 FMX Heavy Duty Electric Prime (FMX Electric) available. She is expected to carry out logistical tasks for QFES. The Honorable Mark Ryan, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister, said: “QFES has a fleet of 500 heavy vehicles, and the time is right to add electric trucks to the mix…. In addition to reducing noise pollution and improving air quality, there is also a financial benefit to taxpayers.” In Queensland too, where electric trucks are cutting operating costs.
Logistics has been identified as the best place to try out the main electric motor. QFES Acting Commissioner, Mike Wassing, commented: “This is a momentous occasion and a huge opportunity for QFES and the firefighters who can use these modern vehicles.” A simultaneous trial of a Euro 6 biodiesel truck is also underway. Volvo Connect’s remote technology will allow real-time performance review and facilitate end-user feedback. Yes, Volvo is watching you.
In other news, Geodis, a global logistics company, is trialling the first Volvo FE freight vehicle in Australia. This is in response to long-term customers looking for sustainable delivery solutions. The trucks will be powered by solar energy, as well as energy-efficient charging systems.
“We recognize the growing importance of integrating sustainable and innovative solutions into the supply chain ecosystem, especially as more of our customers look to us to move their goods in an ethical and sustainable way,” said Stuart Asplet, sub-regional managing director. Pacific Ocean in GEODIS. The solar panels and charging infrastructure are being installed by Goodman Group via GEODIS facilities to create a robust electric ecosystem. It is clear that this experience is the beginning of the movement towards decarbonization.
“The Volvo FE is powered by ABB’s advanced charging infrastructure, which not only speeds up the charging process, but also enables the vehicle to draw energy from existing solar infrastructure. As part of the pilot, GEODIS will evaluate factors, including range driveability, and the suitability of heavy loads of up to 7,500kg to be transported across 200km ranges within urban areas via FE trucks before committing to wider roll-off across its fleet in Australia.
“The full integration of these trucks into the Australian GEODIS fleet is set to completely eliminate fine particulate matter and NOx, as well as ensuring a 95 percent reduction in direct carbon emissions, compared to existing diesel vehicles performing the same function.”
Volvo tells us FE Electric will transport parts from GEODIS’s headquarters in Matraville NSW to Volvo Group Australia’s Minto NSW parts distribution center in Sydney’s south-western suburbs. Volvo uses its own electric trucks within its supply chain – a similar approach to the use of the Tesla Semi by Tesla. The truck can be charged by a 50 kWh AC charger at the warehouse.
“The FE Electric is equipped with four on-board batteries and delivers 266 kWh and is capable of transporting a payload of 7 tonnes. The truck also uses a 225 kW/850 Nm dual-motor drivetrain and is also backed by a two-speed automatic transmission. The operating range is up to 220 How much depending on battery configuration and application. Power consumption for this route is approximately 69 kWh. Using 50 kWh chargers, total charging time from 0% to 100% of battery is just over 3 hours.
“With the opportunity to charge while the truck is being loaded and unloaded, the truck can be driven beyond its daily operating requirements.”
The route has been identified as ideal for electrification by Volvo Group’s Wacol-based regional logistics buyer Jenny Alfredsson. “We are very focused on reducing CO2 emissions from our charging mission by 30% per vehicle by 2025,” she said. One route at a time, one truck at a time. Comprehensive planning of routes and routes will result in the most efficient use of electrical assets.
Volvo Group Australia has been manufacturing trucks in Australia for 50 years, and with enabling regulatory settings, is committed to manufacturing its range of FM and FH heavy electric vehicles at its Wacol production facility in Queensland as early as 2027.
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