Volvo's electric garbage truck to clean up in Germany next year
Volvo has followed last month's launch of its first all-electric truck with an even meatier zero-emission vehicle. Engineered to cart huge loads around urban centers, the Volvo FE Electric boasts almost double the carrying capacity of its sibling and will be put to work on the streets of Germany next year.
The Volvo FE Electric joins the Volvo FL Electric as the first clean-burning heavy haulers out of the Swedish automaker's stable. Volvo is hoping its new electric vehicles can help tackle some of the headaches that impact city centers such as pollution, traffic noise and congestion, as they will be able to peacefully carry out tasks at night time if needed.
But not all trucking tasks are created equal. Where the single-motor FL can carry a maximum weight of 16 tonnes, the FE can be loaded up with 27 tonnes thanks to two electric motors that combine for a maximum 370 kW and 850 Nm of torque, both double that of the FL.
This does come at a cost in terms of range, with the FL able to manage up to 200 km (124 mi) compared to the FE's 300 km (186 mi), despite taking the same 10 hours to recharge from a standard AC outlet.
Like the FL, the FE will be available in different variants depending on the job at hand, such as a low-entry cab model that makes it easier for the driver to slide in and out.
The FE will begin flexing its muscles as a garbage truck in Hamburg, Germany in early 2019.
"Today, each of our 300 conventional refuse vehicles emits approximately 31,300 kg carbon dioxide every year," says Dr. Rüdiger Siechau, CEO of Stadtreinigung Hamburg, the company that handles the city's waste. "An electrically-powered refuse truck with battery that stands a full shift of eight to ten hours is a breakthrough in technology. Another benefit is the fact that Stadtreinigung Hamburg generates climate-neutral electricity that can be used to charge the batteries."