Volvo Trucks Reveals Next-Gen VNR Electric Semi

Updated Volvo VNR Electric trucks will offer up to 85% more range, added configurations.

2022 volvo vnr electric
Volvo Trucks
  • Volvo Trucks announces enhanced VNR Electric model offering up to 275 miles of range, several configurations.
  • The VNR Electric can recharge at up to 250-kW, allowing the truck to gain an 80% charge in 90 minutes.
  • Production of the updated model will begin in the second quarter of this year at Volvo Trucks' New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia.

    Tesla's planned Semi may have captured the most headlines when it was revealed several years ago, but as with the Cybertruck, the Austin-based EV maker now has some catch-up work to do, having been beaten to market by others. Volvo Trucks has been quietly building the VNR Electric model since the second quarter of 2021 at its New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia, and has started delivering it to customers here in the US for testing.

    The truck maker has just announced the next generation of Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 trucks, opening its order books for the new model. Production is set to start in the second quarter of this year, with the new model offering faster charging, more configurations, and up to 85% more range.

    Volvo Trucks has revamped the battery, adding a dedicated battery thermal management system (BTMS) to maintain needed environmental temperatures, and has increased battery capacity up to 40% for each battery, in addition to offering a six-battery package option. The result is a top range of 275 miles and battery storage of up to 565 kWh. By comparison, the largest passenger EV batteries in sedans currently sit around 118 kWh.

    Volvo has also reworked the charging system of the VNR electric, allowing it to recharge at up to 250 kW, allowing the truck to gain an 80% charge in 90 minutes when optioned with the six-battery pack. The four-battery version can obtain the same charge in 60 minutes.

    When it comes to the trucks themselves, Volvo will now offer two new configurations, including a a 6x4 tractor and a 6x4 straight truck, in addition to the currently offered 6x2 tractor, 4x2 tractor, and single-axle straight truck chassis.

    Volvo added two additional configurations with this update.
    Volvo Trucks

    "Volvo Trucks is continuing to expand the capabilities of the VNR Electric to make it more efficient, satisfy our customer demands for expanded range, and provide a better driving experience," said Andy Brown, Volvo Trucks' product marketing manager for electromobility. "The electric driveline featuring a two-speed I-Shift transmission provides best-in-class, powerful, and smooth acceleration. Innovations such as Volvo Active Driver Assist and Dynamic Steering make driving effortless and precise, while at the same time improving safety."

    The VNR Electric is aimed at fleet customers engaged in local and regional distribution, working pick-up and delivery routes, in addition to food and beverage delivery. As such, these aren't interstate trucks that will perform routes that take several days—the VNR Electric is aimed at daily routes between warehouses and stores, for example. This allows them to recharge each night at their home bases, without the need to seek out truck charging stations along the way, which is infrastructure that doesn't yet exist in the US. As with other types of electric delivery vehicles, the VNR Electric is aimed at fleets that operate their own charging infrastructure and work predictable, daily routes that don't require significant detours.

    With a top range of 275 miles, the VNR Electric can make a one-way trip of just over 100 miles, make a return trip of the same length, and still have some range left over.

    "Our team is proud of its role, together with dealers and customers, in accelerating the shift to electromobility and a more sustainable future," added Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America

    As with smaller last-mile delivery vans, the popularity of electric day-cab models will begin to grow noticeably with adoption by large fleet operators, such as big box stores and beverage companies, as opposed to owner-operators that work interstate routes. The few truck makers that currently offer electric models, including Volvo and Freightliner, are all aimed at fleet owners rather than owner-operators.

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