First pilot all-electric VNR truck deployed by Volvo Trucks
Volvo Trucks North America has deployed its first pilot VNR Electric truck in Southern California as part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project- an innovative collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and 13 other organizations to develop a blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale.
The first pilot Volvo VNR Electric truck will operate at the Volvo Trucks North America TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana, California. The zero-emission truck will transport local parts between the TEC Equipment dealerships in Fontana and La Mirada.
The TEC Fontana dealership has two 50 kW chargers inside their truck maintenance bays, as well as a 150 kW charger located outside to enable fleet customers to fast charge at the dealership. Over the past year, the Volvo LIGHTS team worked with Southern California Edison (the local utility) and San Bernardino County (Authority Having Jurisdiction, or AHJ) to safely install the high-power infrastructure.
"This experience in designing, planning, and installing high-power chargers for electric trucks has taught us how critical it is to engage a variety of stakeholders early on," said Aravind Kailas, advanced technology policy director for Volvo Group North America. "The Volvo LIGHTS project has provided valuable insight into how to build realistic project timelines. Despite the unavoidable delays due to the COVID-19 situation, we're proud the team has been able to continue moving the project forward."
Starting in 2021, Southern California businesses will have the opportunity to lease Volvo VNR Electric trucks from TEC Equipment to gain firsthand experience with these trucks in their fleet operations.
"Everyone on my team that has had an opportunity to drive the Volvo VNR Electric has been surprised by how smooth the truck operates," said Mike Reardon, general manager of TEC Equipment's Fontana dealership. "Our parts delivery driver loves taking it out, saying it is very quiet and comfortable in the cab and has great power at take-off."
TEC's Fontana team will be fully trained and equipped to safely perform maintenance for its fleet customers. In addition to being outfitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) for working with high voltage, the technicians have been trained on the proper procedure to isolate the high voltage for diagnosis and service repairs.
"We are proud that our Fontana dealership will be first in in North America to pilot the Volvo VNR Electric model," said Dave Thompson, president and CEO of TEC Equipment. "Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, we are gaining valuable hands-on experience for our drivers and maintenance staff to ensure that we are well prepared to support the widescale deployment of these advanced, zero-emission trucks throughout the Southern California freight corridor."
As part of the Volvo LIGHTS project, two local fleet operators—NFI Industries and Dependable Supply Chain Services—will also begin demonstrating the pilot Volvo VNR Electric trucks for full operations in their regional routes later this summer.