Volvo Commits to All-Electric Heavy-Duty Truck Line, Beats Tesla and Nikola

The entire Volvo heavy-duty truck lineup will be available in 2021 as all-electric vehicles. But it’s not what you think. There are two catches. Let me explain what Volvo is up to. 

Volvo heavy-duty trucks have been around, but not like you expect

Five heavy-duty trucks are lined up to represent Volvo's all-electric offerings.
2021 Volvo Heavy-Duty All-Electric Truck Range | Volvo Trucks

Not everybody knows that Volvo is split up into two companies. There’s the company that makes the regular consumer vehicles. That’s the one everybody is familiar with.

Not everybody, however, is as familiar with the Volvo truck side of the business. That part is run out of the AB Volvo banner, a subsidiary of Geely. To be clear, that part of the business does not make sedans, station wagons, SUVs, or even pickups. Instead, it builds trucks for hauling and collection. That’s the part of the business that is making the all-electric heavy-duty truck line. That’s the first catch.

The second catch to the Volvo heavy-duty truck all-electric transition, is that the full lineup of trucks will begin sales in 2021 in Europe, not here. Only the Volvo VNR Electric truck will be available in the United States at the initiative’s outset. That begins sales in December of this year. 

Volvo is pushing to be fossil-free

According to a press release, the goal of the company is to make fossil-free transportation possible. Although the company recognizes it can take time for infrastructure and buying habits the change, it will move forward with its plan to have the entire lineup, not just heavy-duty trucks, converted by 2040. 

“To reduce the impact of transport on the climate, we need to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to alternatives such as electricity. But the conditions for making this shift, and consequently the pace of the transition, vary dramatically across different hauliers and markets, depending on many variables such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and type of transport operations.” – Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks

Mr. Alm didn’t end there. He also offered these words,

“By rapidly increasing the number of heavy-duty electric trucks, we want to help our customers and transport buyers to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals. We’re determined to continue driving our industry towards a sustainable future,” – Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks

Volvo is beating Tesla to the punch

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Tesla and Nikola have both launched projects to make all-electric semi-trucks. But, although testing is underway right now, the full commercial roll-out hasn’t begun for either of the companies. Volvo, however, has not only created and tested the heavy-duty electric vehicles, but is pushing for a full roll out next year in Europe and beginning in December of this year for the United States. It seems that Volvo has in effect, beat Tesla and Nikola to the punch. While the two upstarts are trying to firm up new companies, Volvo is an established player that already has the dealer network and manufacturing capability in place. So, they will hit the ground running in the all-electric heavy-duty scene. Did anybody see that coming? I didn’t.