Volvo Trucks North America is introducing two new technology tools to help customers successfully deploy Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 models in their fleet operations. New route planning and connected technology tools are designed to help customers maximize the performance capabilities and benefits of the zero-emission Volvo VNR electric model.
In January 2022, Volvo Trucks announced upgrades to its Volvo VNR Electric model, including a six-battery pack option with increased energy storage of up to 565 kWh and an operational range of up to 275 miles. The next-generation Volvo VNR Electric, which will go into production in the second quarter of 2022, is available in several configurations, including a 6×4 rigid truck, a 6×4 tractor, a 6×2 tractor, a 4×2 tractor and a single-axle rigid truck. .
To help customers identify the ideal electric Volvo VNR configuration to support local and regional delivery routes, Volvo Trucks has designed a route planning tool, the Electric Performance Generator (EPG), as an extension of its connectivity platform. The EPG application allows fleet managers to simulate real-life routes for their VNR electric trucks, taking into account vehicle configuration and battery capacity, environmental factors such as terrain and ambient temperature, and specific route details, including traffic patterns. Based on the estimated power consumption, the EPG tool will indicate if an opportunity charge would be required, allowing the fleet manager to adjust the route or plan a charging event in advance.
Fleet operators who wish to use the EPG tool to assess ideal routes to deploy the Volvo VNR Electric can work with local sales representatives from Volvo Trucks Certified EV dealerships, currently available in the USA in California, New York, Virginia and additionally in Quebec, Canada, with dealerships in several other states finalizing their certifications throughout 2022. Volvo Trucks customers currently using VNR Electrics will be able to access the EPG tool, which leverages the platform of connectivity from Volvo Trucks to integrate with its remote diagnostics and battery health monitoring services, to plan the optimized daily operation of their Volvo VNR electric trucks.
Volvo Trucks has also introduced connected technology solutions from telematics provider Geotab to provide fleet managers with complete visibility into the real-time performance of their Volvo VNR Electric fleet. Through cloud integration, data from each truck is migrated to the MyGeotab platform using the Volvo Telematics Gateway which is factory installed in every Volvo VNR Electric. Fleet managers will have access to the data via the online portal where they can see the current location of their Volvo VNR Electric fleet on a map, including whether vehicles are running or parked (in predefined geofencing locations). They receive notifications for the departure and arrival of the truck, including the odometer and the state of charge. They can set alerts to notify the fleet operations team of the current charge status of vehicles, including low charge warnings, as well as view power consumption reports and metering charts. Plus, they can monitor the vehicle’s charging status, including whether it’s connected to the charger, charging, completed, or if charging is interrupted.
“Introducing battery electric trucks into a fleet can come with a steep learning curve for the fleet manager and drivers as they work to manage the difference in range and refueling time compared to to their diesel fleet,” says Andy Brown, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks North America. “These new tools allow fleet managers to find the right place to integrate Volvo VNR Electrics into their operations today and as their battery electric fleet grows.”
These new technology solutions will be introduced in 2022 and will be provided as standard under the Volvo Gold Contract, Volvo Trucks’ first service offering for the Volvo VNR Electric model. The Volvo Gold contract is a turnkey solution that allows customers to be operationally minded with electric vehicles and includes the complete set of uptime services for the Volvo VNR Electric, combining the battery monitoring service of Volvo Trucks with its trusted remote diagnostics, Volvo Action Service and ASIST through the Volvo Trucks 24/7 Uptime Center.