DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks

DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for European transport.

DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport in Europe. The combined effort demonstrates the companies ambitions towards climate neutral transport solutions. 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 longer distance heavy transports. The cooperation includes worldwide first pilot tests of a fully electric Volvo FH truck with gross combination weights up to 60 tonnes, said DHL.

Starting in March, the truck will operate between two DHL Freight logistics terminals in Sweden, a distance of approximately 150km one way. The trial, according to DHL, will provide experience and information regarding the setup and operation of an adequate charging infrastructure and help to optimise the balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations. 

“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%. 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,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO at DHL Freight.

Volvo Trucks efforts for its transition to electrification include considering every aspect of the eco-system for electrification, including charging, route planning, vehicles, service and other support. 

DHL Freight is 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 and the income generated from the surcharges is fully invested in clean technologies within the Swedish network. 

“The logistics sector is facing a huge challenge, which also offers a great opportunity at the same time – the decarbonisation of freight transportation. The collaboration with Volvo Trucks helps DHL Freight to play an even bigger role in the transition to sustainable alternatives and is another significant proof point for our long-term strategy towards climate-neutral transportation,” explains Robert Zander, CEO of DHL Freight Sweden.

DHL stated that the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric trucks for city distribution are in serial production and DHL Supply Chain recently put a new Volvo FL Electric into operation in London, thereby introducing the first purpose-built fully electric Volvo truck for city distribution in the UK.

At the end of last year, Volvo Trucks in North America started sales of the VNR Electric and this year will mark the sales start in Europe of the heavy-duty electric product range.

“Our commitment is that our entire truck sales range will be fossil-free by 2040 at the latest,” concludes Roger Alm, President at Volvo Trucks.

Project facts:

  • The DHL-Volvo project will start in the first quarter of 2021, and is part of REEL, an initiative run by Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova to promote the transition to an electrified freight transport system.
  • The route is between the cities Gothenburg and Jönköping in Sweden, which is a distance of 150km one way.
  • Charging will be done at DHL in Jönköping and the Volvo Truck Centre in Gothenburg.

Source: DHL

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