Volvo Trucks and DHL Freight team up in electric haulage

Written by Thembani Magazi – March 09, 2020

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

Think big. Move big. When logistics movers (no pun intended) and shakers make a step towards something truly industry defining, we at Automotive Trendy are there with our finger on the pulse. Volvo Group enjoyed somewhat of a successful 2020 with a number of notable partnerships and acquisitions. One of the more recent partnerships they are exploring is with DHL Freight: one of the leading road freight providers in Europe. The initiative aims to make use of Volvo’s all-electric trucks to turn long distance haulage into a climate neutral transport solution. To think that large volumes of goods can be trucked between destinations without leaving a grimy, dirty carbon footprint is to really defy convention. Incredible!

The two companies are setting out to prove that electric trucking is not just limited to urban landscapes and can be introduced effectively in regional transport across longer distances. The trial is in Sweden for now, and should it be successful, it will yield insights for electric trucking in the EU and beyond. An inspirational step in the right direction as these are the type of solutions the automotive industry has been thirsting for. Pretty soon we will be looking at a vastly different freight landscape and those beaming yellow and red electric trucks will be delivering the future of freight to us on a silver platter. Service with a smile! Here is what we know about the project so far:

The DHL-Volvo project will start in the first quarter of 2021, and is part of REEL, an initiative run by Sweden's innovation agency, Vinnova, to promote the transition to an electrified freight transport system. Vinnova’s philosophy and approach means that tests with different actors are necessary to succeed with real change. Volvo has placed a lot of confidence in this plan as a key part of their sustainability strategy and for good reason. Partnering with other companies that share the same bold vision is the only logical step.

The route is between the cities of Gothenburg and Jönköping in Sweden, which has a one-way distance of 150 km. The cooperation includes exclusive, first pilot tests of a fully electric Volvo FH truck, with gross combination weight of up to 60 tons. Charging will be done at DHL in Jönköping and the Volvo Truck Center in Gothenburg. A collaborative endeavor which aims to change the trucking industry as we know it.

Auto Trendy’s take:

This initiative will accelerate the introduction of electric trucks in logistics by a considerable margin. Considering the limitations that currently exist which keep electric trucks confined to urban areas, this initiative will pave the way for other brands to follow suit with electrified haulage solutions. The net result is a greener, fossil-free future in the field of transport. From what we at Automotive Trendy can gather the collected insights from this project will help to optimize the right balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations. The future of freight is bright and eco-friendly!