Volvo Trucks has introduced its first all-electric truck for commercial use ' the Volvo FL Electric for urban distribution and refuse operations among other applications.

The first trucks in the new Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with two customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks, with sales and series production of the new model starting in Europe next year.

'We are immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic,' said Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.

'With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports'

Volvo Trucks points out that electric trucks without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals as well as low and zero-emission zones. In addition, their low noise levels create opportunities for operation at night, thus reducing the burden on the roads during the day.

'In order to make the transition secure and smooth, we will offer holistic solutions based on each customer's individual needs regarding driving cycles, load capacity, uptime, range and other parameters,' says Jonas Odermalm, head of product strategy Volvo FL and Volvo FE at Volvo Trucks.

'Such a solution may encompass everything from route analysis and battery optimisation to servicing and financing. Volvo Trucks works closely with several suppliers of charging equipment with the aim, as always, to offer customers high uptime and productivity'

Volvo has a track record in alternatives to diesel engines. Sister company Volvo Bus has already sold more than 4,000 hybrid or fully-electrified buses worldwide since 2010 ' 2,000 in the UK alone ' with eight fully-electric buses due to go into service in Harrogate this summer.

'From experience we know how important it is that cities, energy suppliers and vehicle manufacturers co-operate in order for large-scale electrification to become a reality,' said Jonas Odermalm.

'With attractive incentives, agreed standards and a long-term strategy for urban planning and expansion of the charging infrastructure, the process can go much faster.

'For instance, in order to ensure that raw materials for the batteries are extracted in a responsible way, the Volvo Group works with Drive Sustainably, a partnership between 10 leading automotive companies, which has a special function that monitors this issue.

'The Volvo Group is also involved in various projects where batteries from heavy electric vehicles get a second lease of life and reused for energy storage. All the questions about handling of batteries have not yet been solved, but we are working actively both within the Group and together with other stakeholders to drive development and create the necessary solutions'

Key features of Volvo FL Electric trucks

Fully electrically-powered truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 16-tonnes.

Driveline: 185 kW electric motor, max power/130 kW continuous output, two speed transmission, propeller shaft, rear axle. Max torque electric motor 425 Nm. Max torque output from rear axle 20 kNm.

Energy storage: 2-6 lithium-ion batteries, totalling 100'300 kWh.

Range: Up to 300 kilometres (185 miles) on a full charge

Charging: AC charging via the mains grid (22 kW) or DC fast charge via CCS/Combo2 for up to 150 kW.

Recharging time: From empty to fully-charged batteries: fast charge 1-2 hours (DC charging), night charge up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300 kWh.

The first two Volvo FL Electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM.