Heavy vehicles for applications such as construction sites or in campus-based sectors such as in mining environments usually have to drive for short distances at well known intervals. Vehicles in this sector are perfect for electrification. Managing the fleet for things like charging and installation of charging stations at depots or on-site in campus-based environments also becomes quite straight forward.
Volvo Trucks has identified this sector as one of the key areas to focus on and has developed a line of heavy electric trucks which are customized for the construction industry. By using electric trucks, companies can now meet the increasing demand for vehicles with lower noise levels and zero exhaust emissions at and around urban construction sites. The demand for electric transport in the construction industry is also increasing, given the emphasis on zero-emission zones in cities and the need for construction companies to meet climate goals as part of their broader ESG targets.
Volvo Trucks has therefore developed extra heavy electric trucks that enable customers in the construction segment to shift to more sustainable transport. Conventional trucks with single chassis and built-on applications for a wide range of superstructures, such as tippers, mixers, and cranes, are now offered in an electric version.
“Construction trucks usually travel quite short distances and operate in repetitive flow patterns, for example with delivery of material to construction sites,” explains Eric Parry, Sustainable Solutions Manager at Volvo Trucks SA. “This makes them very suitable for electrification. Our electric trucks can be tailor-made to handle many of these assignments, meaning construction customers can now get the same truck they use today in the electric version. This gives them improved manoeuvrability, reduced noise levels and zero exhaust emissions.”
These customized trucks are already available to order by South African customers — how cool is that!
Volvo trucks says the new electric trucks are flexible, thanks to a variety of cab and battery options and a broad axle configuration offering. This allows a broader range of chassis and the possibility of a shorter wheelbase, down to 3,900 mm, which in turn creates flexibility to customize the truck to handle a wide range of construction operations. Customers can choose battery packs from six batteries down to two, to match their specific requirements for range and payload. The new rigid trucks have a battery capacity between 180-540 kWh.
“When it comes to battery capacity, the truck can be configured to match the actual operation and route. By not carrying more batteries onboard than needed, the payload can increase, and thereby the productivity,” comments Parry.
There are also three types of power take-off (PTO) solutions on the electric trucks facilitate the fitting of electric or mechanical superstructures: electric ePTO, transmission PTO, and electro-mechanical PTO. Volvo says both the electro-mechanical and the transmission solution offer good opportunities to optimize energy consumption and prevent excessive noise. Volvo Trucks is the only global truck manufacturer with a full range of electric trucks in series production already today. The company’s target is that half of its global sales of new trucks will be electric by 2030 at the latest. Volvo Trucks South Africa will start delivering its first electric extra heavy trucks to local customers from May 2023.
Volvo FM and FMX electric trucks with built-on applications can be equipped as follows:
- Driveline: 490 kW
- Drive unit: 3 electric motors
- Battery: 450-540 kWh, 5-6 batteries
- Cab: Sleeper, High, X-High sleeper cab
- Wheelbase: 4,300-6,700mm
- Axle Configurations: 4x2R, 6x2R, 6x4R, 8x2R, and 8x4R
- PTO: Electric ePTO, Transmission PTO and Electro-Mechanical PTO
- Driveline: 330 kW
- Drive unit: 2 electric motors
- Battery: 360 kWh, 4 batteries
- Cab: Day cab
- Wheelbase: 3,900-6,700mm
Or: Battery: 180-270 kWh, 2-3 batteries
This is a very cool development. Having electric trucks such as tippers, mixers, and cranes that you can order now and get in 2023 is a major step forward along the path to electrify everything. What’s even better is that countries like South Africa are also getting these electric heavy vehicles.