WattEV orders 50 Class 8 Volvo BE trucks

Volvo VNR Electric truck Volvo VNR Electric truck Photo: Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks North America has received an order for 50 Class 8 VNR Electric trucks from WattEV.

The trucks will form the basis of a new truck-as-a-service (TaaS) model in California.

WattEV will provide shippers and carriers access to the battery-electric trucks at a per-mile rate, including charging, that is reported to be equivalent to that of diesel trucks.

Over the coming months, the Volvo VNR Electric trucks will begin operations on routes between California’s San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire and the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

“Volvo Trucks applauds WattEV’s unique approach to accelerating fleet electrification through its TaaS model, which aims to remove potential barriers to adoption so that fleets of all sizes can get access to electric Class 8 trucks and perform local and regional delivery with zero-tailpipe emissions,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.

“This type of innovative thinking is necessary to transform how the industry transports freight, and we look forward to collaborating with WattEV as they scale their TaaS fleet across California and the nation.”

To support its TaaS model, WattEV is planning to construct a public network of heavy-duty battery charging depots across major transportation corridors, connecting shipping ports with freight distribution centers and warehouse locations.

The first of the charging depots will be in Bakersfield, San Bernardino, and near the Port of Long Beach. They will feature 250 kW CCS chargers capable of delivering the six battery packs on the Volvo trucks with an 80% charge in 90 minutes.

The six battery packs have a total charge capacity of 565 kWh, delivering a range of up to 275 miles.

As the charging network expands across the nation, the company is planning to scale its depots to deliver 1.2 MW charging capability for ultra-fast charging.

Volvo Trucks is currently expanding its network of Certified Electric Vehicle dealerships, which offer teams trained to carry out maintenance and repairs on the battery-electric vehicles. Dealerships with this capability are already present in California, New York and Virginia, plus Quebec, Canada. More dealerships are said to be finalizing their certification over 2022.

The deal with WattEV was facilitated by TEC Equipment Fontana, the first Volvo Certified EV dealer in the US.

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