Group Trucks Technology (GTT) is the part of the Volvo business working on projects to develop future product, designing, building and testing new technologies into the Volvo Group truck mix. The GTT team in Australia are part of a 6,000 strong global team.
Led by Jeff Hammane, as Vice President GTT, the local team is working on new developments for the global group, but also on technologies to suit the Australian truck market
“Here in Australia, where we add value is by putting the customer at the centre, we work with the customer directly,” says Jeff. “We can build up the best idea of what we need to deliver.”
Side-by side with the GTT team working to move the VGA product forward is a team seeking to answer questions from the customer base on future power options on the trucks offered to market by VGA.
“When it comes talking about our transformation to low carbon, it’s not just battery electric we are looking at,” says Paul Illmer, Vice President Sales Strategy and Support. “There was a tipping point in the last six months with people talking about hydrogen in this country. It was a topic on the periphery and then, all of a sudden we received a lot of enquiry from customers around what will hydrogen powered trucks look like.
“We are also looking at biodiesel. There has been some good activity in New Zealand on that and liquefied natural gas is still on offer and we are looking to see if there are any opportunities to deploy that locally.”
In Australia, the trial of two electric Volvo FL trucks in the Linfox Bevchain fleet will take place over six months. The trucks are fitted with eight pallet bodies and run a 600volt electric power system though a Volvo two speed transmission. The data from the trial will feed into the future Volvo offering to the market.
Predicting the future is always an imprecise science but preparing for the future is a vital part of any organisation’s planning regime. For Volvo this seems to be well in-hand but the variables are many.
How fast the transition over to low emission technology happens will be one of those factors. A change in Government policy could see a steep acceleration in demand for technologies like electric power.
For Mack the situation is less volatile, simply because the market for US trucks is more tradition-based and less likely to be seeking change. However, by introducing the higher level technology which come along with the Anthem, the brand is pushing forward.