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Creating a Zero Tail Pipe Emissions Truck

In January 2021 the first electric Volvo FL and the FE trucks outside of Europe arrived in Australia. In 2022, Volvo started full series production of the heavy duty electric range, with the company expressing its ambition to build electric trucks in Australia in 2027.

“At the Volvo Group we’ve signed up to the net zero Paris Agreement science based targets so we will be a net zero company by 2050,” says Tim Camilleri, E-mobility Solutions Manager at Volvo Australia.

“Our scope three emissions are measured as those produced by our products when they are in our end-operator’s and consumer’s hands, measured over a 10 year period, and need to be net zero by 2050.

“Overall, when we start to look at the freight task, the applications and the energy intensity of the different applications, we see solutions spread across different platforms, there is no silver bullet, and overall we are energy agnostic.

“The key differential between battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is that the fuel cell is a battery electric vehicle with a fuel cell taking hydrogen and converting it into electricity on the fly. We don’t see the death of the internal combustion engine. In fact, we’re still refining and committing to that and investing in that technology.”

Image: Prime Creative Media

The initial offering from Volvo is now complete, with the FL and FE being joined by the electric FM, FMX and FH. The medium duty and light heavy FL and FE have been here for some time, but the larger heavy duty models were brought into the country in anticipation of the decision, now made by the Federal Government, to allow low carbon emission trucks to run out to 2.55 metres in width and with higher front axle masses available on a trial basis.

“At Volvo group we deploy what we call ’CAST’ strategies, that’s ’common architecture of shared technology’,” says Tim. “What that means is that for the electrical components in our vehicles, whether it’s bus, truck, construction equipment, or Volvo Penta, we have a higher level of investment and refinement in terms of electric motors, gearboxes, batteries, cooling systems, etc.

“What that means is that critical parts held on shelf or made, are held in a more efficient way. So rather than having bespoke batteries for every different individual chassis or vehicle or configuration, one battery is held across a multitude of different platforms.”


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