DHL Freight and Volvo collaborating to test electric trucks in Sweden

DHL Freight and Volvo have entered into a contract that will result in heavy-duty electric trucks made for regional transport in Europe. The deal between the two giants in their respective industries will see them road testing Volvo’s electric trucks.

The truck to be tested is the Volvo FH that has a gross weight of 60 tons. The trial starts in March and will see the trucks making delivery runs between two of DHL Freight’s terminals in Sweden, covering a distance of 150 km, from Gothenburg to Jonkopin. There will be charging facilities at the Jonkoping end, supplemented by facilities in Volvo Truck Center in Gothenburg.

Both companies are looking forward to gaining insights from real operations into finding the optimal balance between factors such as distance, load weight and charging infrastructure. The insight would be applied in the future to road freight operations. The idea is to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in the Swedish trucking industry.

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The project is being supported by REEL, a program by Swedish agency Vinnova aimed at promoting the switch to electric freight transport 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,” says Uwe Brinks, DHL Freight’s CEO.

Volvo Trucks President Roger Alm added, “The transport business is changing rapidly and to be sustainable is an increasingly important business advantage for many of our customers. We offer effective transport solutions that help make a fast transition to fossil-free fuels such as electricity. We have a longstanding relationship with DHL.”

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DHL also announced its opt-in program where their clients pay a fixed surcharge for their package delivery. The revenue accrued from this program will go towards financing inititatives like REEL that seek to promote environmental sustainability in Sweden.

Tesla, another auto manufacturer, is also readying its electric truck, the Semi, for the US truck market. Sources point to its production starting this year, with the company boasting of thousands of preorders.

The trucking industry is known as one of the most diesel-fuel focused sectors and with the steady trickle of electric trucks from manufacturers, the industry may finally be shifting its attention to eco-friendly operations.

Written by D.O. for