As part of an innovative partnership between the Volvo Group, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and industry leaders in transportation and electrical charging infrastructure, Volvo Trucks will introduce eight multi-configuration battery Class 8 all-electric truck demonstrators in California next year and an additional 15 precommercial and commercial units throughout California's South Coast Air Basin. Volvo plans to commercialize the vehicles in North America in 2020.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has preliminary awarded $44.8 million to SCAQMD for the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project. The Volvo LIGHTS project will involve 16 partners, and transform freight operations at the facilities of two of the United States' top trucking fleets. Volvo LIGHTS is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment–particularly in disadvantaged communities. This project will reduce an estimated 3.57 tons of criteria pollutants (defined air pollutants) and 3,020 tons of greenhouse gases annually.
"This is yet another important step towards our vision zero emissions. We are convinced that electrified truck transport will be a key driver of sustainable transports, and we're proud to contribute the Volvo Group's expertise to this innovative public-private partnership," says Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks.
The demonstration units will be based on the technology currently being used in the Volvo FE Electric, which Volvo Trucks presented in May and will begin selling in Europe in 2019. The project will also integrate non-truck battery-electric equipment, non-proprietary chargers, and solar energy production equipment.
"This is an excellent opportunity to show the end-to-end potential of electrification," says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. "From solar energy harvesting at our customer locations, to electric vehicle uptime services, to potential second uses for batteries, this project will provide invaluable experience and data for the whole value chain."
A variety of smart technologies will be used, including remote diagnostics, geofencing and the company's web-based service management platform, to monitor all truck performance aspects of the project, and maximize vehicle uptime.
The Volvo LIGHTS project is an example of the new forms of public-private partnerships that electrification of truck transport will allow, as regions target improved air quality, reduced traffic noise and reduced congestion during peak hours because operations can be carried out quietly and without tail-pipe exhaust emissions early in the morning or late at night.