Volvo Trucks recently made an announcement that it has agreed to acquire JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Company in China.
JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle, which is a subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Company which includes a manufacturing site in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, was acquired for an amount of RMB 0.8 billion.
For customers in China
The objective is to start production of the new heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks in Taiyuan for customers in China from the end of 2022.
Volvo Trucks has been active in the Chinese market since 1934. During the last couple of years, the strong growth of logistics services, including e-commerce, has led to a surge in the sales of Volvo trucks in the country.
In 2020, more than 4,500 heavy-duty Volvo trucks were imported and delivered to customers in China. In line with the long-term Volvo Group strategy, Volvo Trucks is therefore expanding its business operation in China.
“We are committed to shaping the future of sustainable transport solutions. With our long-standing presence in China, we are growing our sales, and we are expanding our strong network of sales and service points together with our private dealer partners.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a fast development of the logistics markets and an increasing demand for our premium trucks and services.
To meet the demand from Chinese transport operators, the time is right for us to establish a regional value chain with our own heavy-duty truck manufacturing in China,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
Operations in Taiyuan
The operations in Taiyuan will include stamping, welding, manufacturing of cabs, painting and the final assembly of Volvo trucks.
After investment, within a few years, the plant will have the capacity to produce 15,000 Volvo trucks per year with the potential to increase the capacity further.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Volvo trucks are assembled in 13 countries across the globe. In 2020 approximately 94,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide.
Five zero exhaust emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks are joining the New York City-based beer and beverage distributors’ fleet of more than 400 delivery trucks to service customers throughout New York City, Long Island, and the surrounding counties.
455 hp drivetrain
The VNR’s drivetrain is rated at 455 hp with up to 5,492 Nm of torque. This allows for quick starts and excellent responsiveness in the close quarters of urban delivery.
The fully-integrated driveline features Volvo’s two-speed I-Shift automated transmission for smooth acceleration. On highway the VNR Electric is capable of reaching speeds of 65 mph.
“By working together with customers like Manhattan Beer Distributors that are dedicated to reducing their environmental impact, Volvo Trucks has been able to make meaningful progress on the path toward widescale commercial deployment of VNR Electrics from coast to coast,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.
Level 3 DC fast charging
To support the charging of its battery-electric fleet, Manhattan Beer Distributors has installed three Level 3 DC fast chargers at its Bronx facility that can fully recharge its Volvo VNR Electric trucks up to 80 percent in 70 minutes.
Manhattan Beer Distributors’ battery-electric trucks were the first Volvo VNR Electric models to enter full serial production at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia, which assembles all Volvo trucks sold in North America.
Manhattan Beer Distributors
“As one of the largest beverage distributors in the U.S., Manhattan Beer Distributors recognizes the broad sustainability impact that we can make by eliminating our fleet’s tailpipe emissions,” said Simon Bergson, founder, president & CEO of Manhattan Beer Distributors.
“Volvo Trucks has long supported our sustainability goals and demonstrated that their low- and zero-emission truck lineup provides the safety, performance, and reliability we’ve come to expect.”
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.
DHL and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport in Europe.
So far, the main use of electric trucks has been for shorter distances within cities and urban areas. Now DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have initiated a project focusing on long distance heavy transports.
The cooperation includes exclusive, worldwide first pilot tests of the fully electric Volvo FH truck. Its gross combination weights are up to 60 tons.
The truck operates between two DHL Freight logistics terminals in Sweden. This is a distance of approximately 150 km one way. During the trial, Volvo and DHL gain important experience and information regarding the ranges and thus the setup and operation of an adequate charging infrastructure.
This will help to optimize the right balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations. DHL Freight is actively working, along with Volvo Trucks, on the reduction of their ecological footprint. Sustainability forms an integral part of the company’s strategy.
Long-haul electric trucks like the Volvo FH here use the same chassis and running gear as conventional trucks, only instead of a diesel drivetrain they are fitted with an electric one powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Given they share the same chassis and running gear as conventional trucks, long-haul electric trucks should have approximately the same lifespan. Lithium-ion batteries do degrade over time, however. Typically, a lithium-ion battery will last for eight years or 100,000 miles. Nevertheless, as technology improves this threshold is being pushed back and replacement batteries are becoming cheaper.
Compared to other alternative drivetrains such as fuel cells and/or hydrogen, electric drivetrains are very efficient. As a result, long haul trucks of the type being tested can cover hundreds of miles between charges.
“Our aim is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero. Important milestones have already been achieved in meeting this: compared to 2007, our Group’s CO2 efficiency has improved by 35%,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO at DHL Freight.
“However, we need innovative technological solutions and strong partnerships along this journey. I’m confident that our strong cooperation with Volvo Trucks, one of the major truck brands in the world, will support us in achieving our ambitious environmental goals in the road freight sector.”
Volvo Trucks is making the transition to electrification as seamless and efficient as possible. This is done by considering every aspect of the eco-system for electrification, including charging, route planning, vehicles, service and other support.
DHL Freight is actively driving various sustainability and fossil-free technology projects and has introduced a climate-friendly shipping program in Sweden. Customers using the program pay a fixed surcharge for every parcel or pallet shipped. The income generated from the surcharges is fully invested in clean technologies within the Swedish network.
The new Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX will be the first commercial heavy-duty trucks to come with Alexa built-in. The trucks with Alexa will be available from March 2021 in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In September 2020, Volvo Trucks started sales of four new trucks that had been developed with a strong focus on the driver environment, safety and productivity. The trucks have a new, flexible user interface with a digital instrument panel that gives the driver relevant information in each situation and makes it easier for drivers to take the right decisions.
“We have developed Volvo characteristics, including ergonomics, comfort and safety, and combined them with innovative technology, such as Alexa, to create an even more attractive and productive driver environment,” says Samuel Nerdal, Product Manager for electronics and electrical solutions at Volvo Trucks.
With Alexa drivers can keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. If the new truck is equipped with the navigation software that is available from Volvo Trucks, then the driver can ask Alexa which route to take. In addition, Alexa can help the driver make phone calls to customers and family members, play music and access the news and audiobooks.
“Volvo Trucks understands that voice technology is essential to create the optimal experience for drivers of their heavy-duty trucks and we’re excited that Alexa is the chosen voice service to deliver this,” said Ned Curic, Vice President, Alexa Automotive. “Alexa can be a helpful friend on the road for Volvo truck drivers, keeping them connected, entertained and productive.”
What is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa, also known simply as Alexa, is a virtual assistant AI technology which was developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126.
It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news.
Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system. Users are able to extend the Alexa capabilities by installing “skills” (additional functionality developed by third-party vendors, in other settings more commonly called apps) such as weather programs and audio features.
Most devices with Alexa allow users to activate the device using a wake-word (such as Alexa or Amazon); other devices require the user to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening mode, although, some phones also allow a user to say a command, such as “Alexa” or “Alexa wake”.
Currently, interaction and communication with Alexa are available only in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Hindi.In Canada, Alexa is available in English and French.
As of November 2018, Amazon had more than 10,000 employees working on Alexa and related products. In January 2019, Amazon’s devices team announced that they had sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices.
In September 2019, Amazon launched many new devices achieving many records while competing with the world’s smart home industry. The new Echo Studio became the first smart speaker with 360 sound and Dolby sound.
Other new devices included an Echo dot with a clock behind the fabric, a new third-generation Amazon Echo, Echo Show 8, a plug-in Echo device, Echo Flex, Alexa built-in wireless earphones, Echo buds, Alexa built-in spectacles, Echo frames, an Alexa built-in Ring, and Echo Loop.
The 10 trucks are part of a delivery order which comprises a total of 31 units of Volvo FM370 and FM440 heavy duty trucks, which are expected to be delivered to Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd in stages from 2020 to 2021.
Having established a large fleet over the past two decades, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd mainly operates in Port Dickson, Westport, Puchong, Kapar, Kempas in Johor, and HICOM industrial area in Shah Alam.
Their operation covers and extends services to the majority of all Oil and Gas corporations in the country. The recent addition of Petron Malaysia to the service of their fleet further consolidates their leadership position in their Malaysian roadmap ambition.
Today, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd has emerged as one of the best haulage companies in the region built on the reputation based on their highest standards of safety and operational excellence garnering acknowledgement from many industry peers and dominant players.
Volvo Trucks Malaysia has been a partner with Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd since 2015, and besides just selling trucks, Volvo Trucks also offered a Driver Development Programme as an essential value added service to train the ‘captains’ (experienced truck drivers) of Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd.
With the combined experience and expertise in the Oil & Gas industry in Malaysia, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd continues to further cement their position as one of the leading providers of total customer solutions in the energy sector and related businesses.
There is no doubt Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd will continue its dedication and passion about their vision to expand their business to a greater height and Volvo Trucks is here to stay and ride a joint ambition for dominance together into the future. Together, the future is a win-win partnership for all.
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.
Volvo Trucks announced that its Johor based customer, transportation company Chemtrax Sdn Bhd (Chemtrax), has recently taken delivery of five units of Volvo trucks. Out of the lot, four are FM370 4×2, with one unit of FM440 6×2.
It is said that the purchase is in line with the company’s expansion plans, where the new trucks will be utilized for transporting caustic soda chemical compounds and butadiene gas.
With these new additions, Chemtrax now owns 55 units of Volvo trucks, which makes up about 90% of the company’s total fleet of trucks.
Established in 1998, Chemtrax is one of the leading transportation companies in Malaysia that specialises in the moving of hazardous chemical and gas products such as acids, alkalis, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), water-based chemicals and other flammable and toxic gases.
The company transports these products within Malaysia and Singapore using various types of road tankers such as stainless-steel tanker, special-lined tanker and high-pressured gas tanker to meet the diverse and strict requirements for each hazardous material it transports.
Speaking at the truck handover ceremony, Jaffar Abu Bakar, Group Managing Director of Chemtrax Sdn Bhd said, “We have more than 20 years of experience in handling hazardous materials and have been providing transportation services to companies like Petronas, CCM Chemicals, Kaneka, Solar Gaz and other global companies like IVICT, INEOS and Synthomer. These companies all subscribe to very stringent global standards of safety which we are highly committed to.”
He added that the company’s transport routes consist of both long and short haul deliveries within all over Peninsula Malaysia, as well as to Singapore with around 15 trips daily into the island.
“The hazardous nature of the materials we transport neccesitates us to constantly ensure that safety remains at the forefront of our business. As we are steadfast in our commitment to fully comply to international standards of safety and quality, we do require robust trucks to help us maintain our standards and ensure on-time deliveries to our clients.
Volvo Trucks is introducing four new trucks, with a strong focus on the driver environment, safety and productivity.
“We are really proud of this big forward-looking investment. Our aim is to be our customers’ best business partner by making them even more competitive and help them attract the best drivers in an increasingly tough market,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
The four heavy-duty trucks; Volvo FH, FH16, FM and FMX, represent about two thirds of Volvo Trucks’ deliveries.
The new Volvo FM and Volvo FMX have a brand new cab, as well as many of the same instrument display functions as their larger Volvo counterparts.
Their interior volume has been increased by up to one cubic meter, providing better comfort and more working room. The visibility is now even better due to larger windows, a lowered door line and new mirrors.
Both the environment and economics are important factors for haulage companies. As there will not be one singular energy source that addresses all climate change issues, and since different transport segments and assignments will require a variety of solutions, several types of drivelines will continue to exist in parallel for the foreseeable future.
In many markets, the Volvo FH and Volvo FM are available with the Euro 6 compliant gas-powered LNG engine that offers fuel efficiency and performance on par with that of Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks, but with a far lower climate impact.
The gas engine can run on either biogas, which cuts CO2 by up to 100 percent, or natural gas which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent when compared with Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank to wheel.
Continuing from its historic sales performance result
last year, Volvo Trucks has recently delivered 10 units of Volvo FM440 truck to
Multimodal Freight Sdn Bhd (Multimodal), marking its first truck delivery to a
key customer this year. These units are in addition to the 40 units of Volvo
trucks which Multimodal had taken delivery last year, bringing to a total of 50
trucks. As of now, Multimodal owns a total of 200 trucks in its fleet that only
consists of one brand, which is Volvo.
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), was first established in 1989 as a forwarding company to handle KTMB’s locomotive or rolling stock
import shipments, and to serve railway cargo customers that required forwarding
The company then grew and obtained its haulage licence in 1991 to
capitalise on the growing containerisation industry back then. In 1995, Multimodal
became a first time customer of Volvo Trucks by buying 30 units of the Volvo
FL10 model to support its business. Over the years, it continues to add more
Volvo trucks to its fleet and is today a key customer of the Swedish truck
handover ceremony was held recently at Volvo Trucks’ Port Klang dealership to
officially mark the delivery. The event was attended
by Mohd Hasdey Bin Yaakob,
CEO of Multimodal Freight Sdn Bhd and Mitch Peden, Managing Director of Volvo
Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and together with their respective management team. A limited edition truck scale model was presented to
Multimodal to mark the occasion.
Mitch Peden, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd
commented, “We would like to thank Multimodal for their steadfast support and
trust given to the Volvo brand. Our customer’s
success is our success too, and we make it our responsibility to ensure that
our products and services are providing the best outcome and return on
investment to our customers such as Multimodal. Volvo FM is an ideal
all-round player in our range of trucks, and its first-class driving features
and properties will provide Multimodal with many levels of flexibility and
During the handover, Multimodal also signed
up for Volvo’s Gold Service Agreement for all the 50 units of trucks, which
will cover preventive maintenance and repairs. As part of this service
agreement, Multimodal also gets to enjoy an added feature called Volvo Uptime
Promise, which was first introduced to the Malaysian market last year. This
unique benefit will provide monetary compensation to Volvo
Trucks’ Gold Service Agreement customers if their truck experience a breakdown
time that exceeds Volvo Trucks’ 12 hours of committed time to put the truck
back on the road.
Mohd Hasdey Bin Yaakob,
CEO of Multimodal Freight Sdn Bhd said, ”Multimodal is a logistic company with vast capacity and capabilities not
just to support the rail freight volume from our parent company; but also to
meet the transportation requirements of other local and overseas customers. As
such, we require strong performing trucks and reliable aftersales support from
our truck partner to help us maintain our service quality to our customers.”
“We have been using Volvo Trucks for over 20 years now
and we have been very pleased with the performance, safety features and fuel
efficiency. The trucks’ comfortability, power and great maneuverability have also
helped us to retain good drivers and attract new recruits. I am very comfortable
to have Volvo Trucks maintain the fleet for us. After all, our focus is to grow
our transport business. The Volvo Gold Service Agreement assures me that our trucks
are in the good hands of the experts, who can help to ensure the best possible
truck uptime,” he added.
Peden further shared, “The signing of
the Gold Service Agreement by Multimodal also symbolises a strong
relationship that we have managed to earn and build with our customer over the
years. With great product features and benefits such as Volvo Uptime Promise, high productivity, lower fuel costs and driver
training, we know that we can help our customers make a difference to their
business bottom line.”