Volvo electric lorry will travel 600 miles on a single charge

The truck maker Volvo is developing electric lorries that can travel 600 miles on a single charge in what would be a major step towards cutting carbon emissions in the freight industry. Volvo Group – which split from Volvo cars in 1999 – said it will be able to manufacture electric trucks that can handle almost any long-haul journey within the next few years, the boss of the company’s energy division revealed. Currently electric lorries are limited by the range of the batteries, making many routes across Europe impossible.

Joachim Rosenberg, president of Volvo Energy, said that just half of truck journeys can be done by an electrified vehicle, but that new product lines will soon open up most of the Continent. He said: “Some trucks are going pretty long haul, like 900 to 1,000 kilometres [621 miles]. That you cannot reach yet with the trucks that exist – not from our group and not from anyone else. 

“But we’re getting there in a not too distant future… In the next few years that will happen.” He said electrified vehicles will be able to be used in “more or less all transport missions” in the next few years.

Transport produced more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions in 2019, with 91pc from road vehicles. Heavy goods haulage accounted for a fifth of road transport emissions. Volvo has six all-electric heavy truck models and introduced a new lorry with a longer range earlier this year.

The latest model has a range of 440km and Volvo wants half of all trucks sold to be electric by 2030. Volvo Trucks made up 42pc of all electric truck sales in Europe and was the market leader in 2021, according to IHS Markit. The most electric lorries were sold in Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.

While electric lorries are expected to be able to do ultra-long haul journeys within years, the sector is concerned that a lack of electric charging infrastructure could hold it back.

Mr Rosenberg said “the starting point is very, very low” on the charging infrastructure for electric trucks with a severe lack of publicly available charge points.

“There are less than 10 high speed chargers publicly available across the entire continent of Europe.”