Volvo vows to ‘accelerate the shift’ to zero-emission vehicles in Canada

Volvo Trucks was at Truck World, announcing it is “accelerating the shift” toward zero-emission transport in Canada.

Andy Brown, product marketing manager – electromobility, indicated the company is proud of its Canadian dealers for quickly embracing the technology and becoming electric vehicle-certified. That’s a must, in order to sell and support Volvo’s electric trucks, and is a rigorous process involving things like setting up a dedicated bay for electric vehicles and training all technicians and staff.

The first two Canadian dealers to become EV-certified — Camions Volvo Montreal and Pare Centre du Camion – are based in Quebec. Brown said it’s natural for dealers in provinces that offer EV incentives – namely, B.C. and Quebec – to lead the way. And, he promised, “By the end of the year, we look to have over half our Canadian dealers certified or in the progress toward that certification.”

Volvo’s first electric truck to enter the North American market is the regional haul VNR Electric, with two Canadian fleets among its early customers. Groupe Morneau was first to take delivery, followed recently by Martin Bower. Both fleets operate in Quebec, where Brown said the technology will be “battle tested.”

“We will have lots of announcements coming up with major companies you interact with every day,” Brown told Canadian trucking press at the show. “The orders and continuing scalability of these trucks on Canadian soil are increasing.”

But Volvo isn’t just developing battery-electric vehicles, it is also developing a hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric truck by the end of this decade for longer, heavier hauls, and feels combustion engines with clean-burning fuels will also have their place.

Its ability to bring the VNR Electric to the market so quickly was because the company had more than 5,000 electric trucks and buses working globally, accumulating more than 6 million miles.

“So, the foundation to bring this truck to North America was absolutely strong,” Brown said, noting sales began in 2020 with serial production beginning the very next year. And, a second version of the truck has already been announced and will enter production in the second quarter of this year.

It will boast an 85% increase in range – up to 440 km – which Brown said “makes us the industry range leader.”

It has also broadened the configurations available for the VNR Electric to include: 4×2, 6×2, and 6×4 tractors, as well as 4×2 and 6×4 straight trucks.

The company is also looking to make adoption of electric vehicles easier for customers. For instance, Volvo Financial Services offers a Gold Contract standard on all VNR Electrics that includes all maintenance costs aside from glass and tires.

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