Starting on 1st July 2021, all new electric vehicles in the EU are required to emit a certain sound level when travelling at speeds below 20 km/h to make things safer, which is a problem for electric vehicles that have no engine to make any noise.
Coming back to the ruling by the EU, it was said that the sound level required depends on the speed and gets higher as it increases.
56 decibels minimum
For instance, at the maximum speed of 20 km/h, it should be at least 56 decibels. If the vehicle is too quiet, an external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added.
So, to meet the new requirements, and at the same time maintain the benefits of lower noise levels that come with electric vehicles, Volvo Trucks has developed a unique set of sounds for its electric truck models.
The range of sounds is the result of thorough research and testing by the Volvo Group’s own acoustics experts.
“We are particularly proud to have developed high quality, premium sounds that are noticeable enough to warn people close to the truck, and yet still pleasant for the driver and other road users,” says Anna Wrige Berling.
Still quieter than conventional trucks
It is important to note that the trucks will still be much quieter than conventional trucks.
“The sounds are designed to not penetrate through walls. Our electric trucks will still allow for quiet nighttime deliveries and contribute to better working conditions for the drivers and a quieter, cleaner environment,” says Anna Wrige Berling.
The Volvo developed acoustic alert system for electric vehicles is actually not just one but four different sounds, informing people close by about what the truck is doing: moving forward, idling, reversing, etc. The sounds will vary in intensity, based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.
Six and counting
With the recently announced start of sales of three new heavy duty electric truck models – the Volvo FH, FM and FMX – Volvo Trucks now has an impressive line-up of six medium and heavy duty electric trucks.
This is currently the most complete commercial electric truck range in the industry.
“Electric trucks will be increasingly more common in traffic, and by adding the acoustic alert sound system to our electric vehicles, we are proud to be able to combine our exciting journey towards zero emissions with our longstanding zero accidents ambition,” states Anna Wrige Berling.
Volvo Trucks just revealed full electric versions of its proven FH, FM, as well as FMX trucks recently, and the best part is that customers in Europe can make their orders next year itself.
Curently undergoing the final phase of testing, the electric FM, FH, and FMX trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration, the range could be up to 300 km.
Sales will begin next year and volume production will start in 2022. This means that from 2021 onwards Volvo Trucks will sell a complete range of battery-electric trucks in Europe for distribution, refuse, regional transport and urban construction operations.
The models mentioned above will complement the Volvo FL Electric and the Volvo FE Electric which have been around since 2019.
From Volvo Trucks’ perspective, what’s happening now is a transition to more sustainable transport, and the company said that it aims to make the shift as smooth as possible for haulage operators, so that they can begin to adjust.
How Volvo Trucks aims to do this is by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, charging equipment, financing and services.
While the first batch of these electric Prime Movers are expected to reach customers in Europe in 2022, markets such as Malaysia will have to wait much longer.
So, watch this space for more updates on Volvo’s new Electric behemoths.
Next year, hauliers in Europe will be able to order all-electric versions of Volvo’s heavy-duty trucks. This means that Volvo Trucks will offer a complete heavy-duty range with electric drivelines starting in Europe in 2021. Volvo Trucks’ massive drive towards electrification marks a major step forwards on the road to fossil-free transport.
Volvo Trucks is now running tests of the electric heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks, which will be used for regional transport and urban construction operations in Europe.
These trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration the range could be up to 300 km. Sales will begin next year and volume production will start in 2022. This means that from 2021 onwards Volvo Trucks will sell a complete range of battery-electric trucks in Europe for distribution, refuse, regional transport and urban construction operations.
“By rapidly increasing the number of heavy-duty electric trucks, we want to help our customers and transport buyers to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals. We’re determined to continue driving our industry towards a sustainable future,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
Volvo Trucks started manufacturing the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric in 2019. These are electric trucks intended for city distribution and refuse operations, primarily in Europe. In North America, sales of the Volvo VNR Electric, a truck for regional transport, will start on December 3, 2020.
A gradual transition to fossil-free alternatives Electric vehicles for demanding and heavy long-haul operations will follow in this decade. These will be battery-electric and fuel cell electric trucks with a longer range. Volvo Trucks aims to start selling electric trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells in the second half of this decade. Volvo Trucks’ objective is for its entire product range to be fossil-free by 2040.
“To reduce the impact of transport on the climate, we need to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to alternatives such as electricity. But the conditions for making this shift, and consequently the pace of the transition, vary dramatically across different hauliers and markets, depending on many variables such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and type of transport operations,” explains Roger Alm.
For this reason, most transport companies will change over to electric operation in stages. In practice, many of them will have a mixed fleet of trucks powered by different fuels during a transition period.
“Our chassis are designed to be independent of the driveline used. Our customers can choose to buy several Volvo trucks of the same model, with the only difference being that some are electric and others are powered by gas or diesel. As regards product characteristics, such as the driver’s environment, reliability and safety, all our vehicles meet the same high standards. Drivers should feel familiar with their vehicles and be able to operate them safely and efficiently regardless of the fuel used,” says Roger Alm.
From Volvo Trucks’ perspective, the transition to more sustainable transport is largely about making the shift as smooth as possible for haulage operators, so that they can begin to adjust. The solutions offered must be fossil-free and allow hauliers to achieve the necessary levels of profitability and productivity.
“Our primary task is to ease the transition to electrified vehicles. We’re doing this by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, charging equipment, financing and services. The long-term security that we and our global network of dealers and service workshops provide our customers with will be more important than ever,” says Roger Alm.
Mack Trucks showed the LR BEV battery-electric refuse truck at the WasteExpo 2019 in Las Vegas. The truck has a built-in electrical powertrain consisted of two 130 kW electric motors, which together produce 496 hp (continuous power 349 hp) and 5500 Nm of torque from zero rpms. It is also equipped with a two-speed Mack Powershift gearbox. Energy comes from four NMC lithium-ion batteries.
Based on the LR truck that is already popular with municipalities all over the country; only it has a fairly wild battery-electric drivetrain under it that makes a respectable 496 horsepower and a mind-boggling 4,051 pound-feet of torque. It does this with two 130-kilowatt AC motors, a two-speed transmission and some beefy Mack 56,000-pound axles.
The diesel engine on an ordinary trash truck doesn’t just make the wheels spin; it also has to run a ton of hydraulics and other systems. The LR BEV uses battery power to drive these systems, including hydraulics. The whole system is powered by four large lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries that can be recharged at up to 150 kW and 200 amps.
Mack left out the specifics on the LR BEV’s expected range, but it’s fair to assume that most garbage trucks don’t pile the miles on in the same way that a semi truck would. Also, the hundreds of stops and starts that a truck might see during a shift gives plenty of opportunity for brake regen, which should help range too.
The company’s entire current vehicle lineup on display at the recent Hannover show included some future-focused electric and hybrid truck models, which will be entering customer field tests this year and next.
“The overriding priority for any development is to provide value to our customers,” says Ron Borsboom, management board member at DAF. “Our approach has always been and will always be to thoroughly validate our new developments before launch. That customer-focused strategy continues with electric and hybrid trucks. Zero emissions and low noise levels may be demanded in the future as cities announce their intentions to create zero-emission zones which could drive a need for our customers to have a wide variety of solutions to meet their needs.”
DAF LF Electric
The 19-tonne DAF LF Electric Innovation Truck is equipped with a 340-peak horsepower electric motor and 222-kWh lithium-ion battery packs, which gives the vehicle a maximum operating range of 220 kilometres at full cargo capacity. The truck’s battery packs are modular, meaning customers can choose the best capacity for their specific needs. The model on display at IAA 2018 is well-suited for distribution work in cities.
DAF CF Electric
DAF’s CF Electric Innovation truck is a 4×2 tractor that supports a maximum gross combination weight (GCW) of 37 tonnes. It has a 325-peak horsepower electric motor and a 170-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that gives it a range of roughly 100 kilometres, which makes it a fit for distribution in urban environments. It also features VDL E-Power Technology. You can perform a quick battery charge in 30 minutes or fully charge the battery pack in around an hour and 30 minutes.
DAF CF Hybrid
The DAF CF Hybrid Innovation Truck is a hybrid in more ways than one, because it runs on diesel and electric power, and it can be used in-city or in long-haul operations. It sports a 10.8-litre PACCAR MX-11 engine that produces 450 horsepower, a ZF electric motor that produces 175 peak horsepower, and a ZF TraXon transmission. The CF Hybrid has a maximum electric range of 30 to 50 kilometres at various GCWs. You can charge the batteries with the diesel engine while driving on the highway or get a full charge in 30 minutes and an 80% charge in 20 minutes at a DC charging station. Braking and using Down Hill Speed Control and Predictive Cruise Control will recharge the batteries over time.