Drive to Head Towards a Zero Emissions Operation

drive to head towards a zero emissions operation

Last year, Volvo introduced two electric FL trucks into Linfox’s fleet, as part of that company’s drive to head towards a zero emissions operation. The two trucks are currently running around Melbourne delivering around the city.

The 4×2 Volvo FL Electric Volvo FL trucks are powered by a 600 Volt system on the trucks using 200 kWh battery packs to power a 200kW/425Nm motor. Power gets to the drive wheels via a two-speed I-Shift automated transmission. The trucks began trials with Linfox/BevChain earlier this year.

“The Linfox experience was pretty straightforward,” says Paul Ilmer, Volvo Vice President Sales Strategy and Support. “They use a 22kW AC wall charger, there’s not too much to it. It is a three phase 320 amp set up, one on a pedestal and one mounted to a wall. The thing about these AC chargers is they just a supply of AC current and then the truck’s own converter, on board converts it to DC to recharge the batteries.”

Paul Ilmer, Volvo Vice President Sales Strategy and Support

There is a relatively. low level of knowledge in the trucking industry, (something PowerTorque is trying to address in this series of articles) and Volvo is finding there are a number of questions it needs to ask about the task the truck will be handling, which will determine what sort of truck might be suitable.

Not only are the daily kilometres, mass and size important, but also whether there is a charging window in which the truck can be recharged. This window could be while the truck is loading or unloading and when the driver takes a break, as well as getting a full recharge overnight. 

“We use something called a ‘battery configuration tool’,” says Paul. “We get all of the data and put it into the tool so we can determine, and get the characteristics of, the freight task itself. There’s a lot around this, trying ensure you have the right charge at the right time. It’s also important to understand whether the payloads make sense, because the batteries do weigh quite a bit.

“It’s taken us by surprise how many people are asking about this. Customers are becoming more knowledgeable and are asking better questions. We’ve seen an uptick in enquiry from customers, but also from government and interested parties. 

“One thing which needs to be cleared up is the perception from some that hydrogen will just displace electric. It’s not the case, you will probably have battery for everything up to 300km per day, and you wouldn’t put hydrogen into that application, because you don’t need it. At higher masses and over longer distances, then you move into hydrogen.”

Paul Ilmer, Volvo Vice President Sales Strategy and Support

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