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Volvo Trucks is opening its first-ever battery plant in Ghent, Belgium.
The new plant will supply ready-to-install batteries for Volvo Trucks’ fully electric heavy-duty trucks.
The new battery plant will cells and modules from Samsung SDI will be assembled into battery packs tailor-made for Volvo Trucks’ heavy-duty range. Series production for the FH, FM, and FMX trucks will start in Q3 this year.
Each battery pack will have a capacity of 90 kWh and Volvo Trucks’ customers can choose to have up to six battery packs – or 540 kWh – in a truck. The number of batteries, of course, depends on each customer’s range and load capacity demands.
“This investment shows our strong commitment to electrifying truck transportation. By 2030, at least 50 percent of all trucks we sell globally will be electric and by 2040, we will be a carbon-neutral company,” said Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.
The batteries manufactured in the factory are designed to be remanufactured, refurbished, and reused at a later date. The plant itself is powered by 100% renewable energy.
“By integrating the battery assembly process in our production flow, we can shorten lead times for our customers and secure high-performing batteries, while at the same time increase circularity,” continued Alm.
With the production of the new series starting later this year, Volvo will have a total of six electric truck models globally, covering city distribution and refuse handling to regional transport and construction work.
“We started series-production of electric trucks already in 2019 and are leading the market both in Europe and North America. With the rapid development of charging networks, and improvements in battery technology, I am convinced that we will see a rapid transformation of the entire truck industry in the very near future,” said Alm.
However, the jury is still out on the utility of battery-electric trucks and lorries. Long-distance driving, it has been suggested, will be better served by hydrogen thanks to its quick refuelling and high energy density. Some have even suggested that pantographs could be an option for long-distance trucking.