DHL 60 tonne Volvo FH

DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks are to test heavy-duty electric truck technology for medium-distance regional transportation in Sweden.

The project will see the world’s first trial of a fully-electric Volvo FH with a gross combination weight up to 60 tonnes.

Starting in March, the truck will operate between two DHL Freight logistics terminals in the cities of Gothenburg and Jönköping over a distance of approximately 150km each way.

It will be charged at DHL’s hub in Jönköping and the Volvo Truck Centre in Gothenburg.

The trial is expected to provide robust data regarding the set-up and operation of adequate charging infrastructure. This will help to optimise the right balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations.

“Our aim is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero,” said Uwe Brinks, CEO at DHL Freight. “Important milestones have already been achieved in meeting this. Compared to 2007, our Group’s CO2 efficiency has improved by 35%. However, we need innovative technological solutions and strong partnerships along this journey.

He added: “Volvo Trucks is driving the necessary shift towards fossil free road transport by making the transition to electrification as seamless and efficient as possible. This is done by considering every aspect of the eco-system for electrification, including charging, route planning, vehicles, service and other support.”

Roger Alm, president at Volvo Trucks, said: “We offer effective transport solutions that help make a fast transition to fossil-free fuels such as electricity.

“We have a longstanding relationship with DHL. Their broad and global expertise in logistics allows us to study the conditions to progress with this technology shift, adapting it to customer needs and their type of transport operation.”

To support its sustainability strategy, DHL Freight has also introduced a climate-focused shipping program in Sweden. Customers using the program pay a fixed surcharge for every parcel or pallet shipped and the income generated from the surcharges is fully invested in clean technologies within the Swedish network.

The Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric trucks, for city distribution, are already in serial production.

In the UK, DHL Supply Chain recently put a new Volvo FL Electric into operation in London, while at the end of last year, Volvo Trucks in North America started sales of the VNR Electric, and this year will mark the sales start in Europe of the heavy-duty electric product range.

“Our commitment is that our entire truck sales range will be fossil-free by 2040 at the latest,” said Alm.