Forestry, responsible for almost 20 percent of Sweden’s road freight transport, is set to undergo a major transformation towards electric-powered timber trucks financed by the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova.
The project, named TREE, involves a collaboration between the research institute Skogforsk, Scania, five forestry companies, and various transport and technology firms.
“The forestry industry has high ambitions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so electrification is crucial,” said Anna Pernestål, a researcher at Skogforsk and leader of the TREE project.
The timber transport sector, averaging two million transports annually with an average weight of 64 tonnes and a distance of approximately 90 kilometres, provides a promising opportunity for electrification.
However, the challenges lie in the external environment, vehicle weight, and the need for robustness, especially considering that timber is often collected in remote forest areas far from urban infrastructure. The project aims to address these complexities by developing business models, logistics planning, and technology through seven pilot projects.
Scania, a key participant in the collaboration, will supply the technical equipment for charging vehicles, including solutions enabling electric operation on the vehicle’s trailer.
“Electric vehicles are now part of our regular product range and we have already delivered the world’s first electric logging truck in Sweden,” said Ulf Ceder, responsible for development and research collaborations at Scania.
“We are very much looking forward to taking the next step in the TREE project and developing electrified transportation together with forestry.”
Scheduled to commence on November 20 this year, the three-year project aims to enable half of all new trucks purchased by the forestry sector in 2030 to be fully electric. This transition is expected to result in an annual reduction of 260,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Gothenburg Expands Fast-Charging Network for Electric Trucks
Gothenburg, Sweden, also continues its commitment to environmental sustainability with a significant expansion in public fast chargers tailored for trucks.
In a collaborative effort, Gothenburg Energi and the Port of Gothenburg have unveiled four new fast chargers with a formidable capacity of up to 350 kW at the Port Entry on Hisingen, a vital logistics and transport hub.
“The use of fossil fuels must be reduced if Gothenburg is to meet its environmental goals. This applies not least to truck traffic,” said Malin Flysjö, the business manager for electricity and gas trading at Gothenburg Energi.
“Therefore, it feels really good to now be able to offer significantly better opportunities for trucks to charge, at charging points that are especially adapted for large and long vehicles.”
The chosen locations, Port Entry and Exportgatan, strategically serve as gateways to the bustling port area, where over a million trucks pick up or deliver goods each year.
The port has been focusing on accelerating sustainable land transportation, resulting in various infrastructure measures and incentives. In addition to new charging points, priority has been given to electric trucks in the port’s terminals.
By placing fast chargers for electric trucks at those critical points, Gothenburg aims to contribute significantly to the port’s climate objectives while solidifying its reputation as an environmentally conscious city.
“Our goal is to reduce the port’s emissions from transport by 70 percent until the year 2030. Then we need to be able to offer the trucks that use the port charging in a simple and easily accessible way,” said Viktor Allgurén, head of innovation at Port of Gothenburg AB.
“If more people are to be able to take the step towards freedom from fossil fuels, an infrastructure needs to be in place. However, the public fast charging that we offer must be combined with charging options in the truck depots and out on the roads.”
Since a year ago, a charging station has already been operational at Vädermotet in the Port of Gothenburg, operated by Circle K. However, having two separate public charging stations in the port could “provide redundancy in infrastructure and potentially keep prices down for those who charge,” according to Allgurén.
In addition to the four chargers already in operation, plans are underway to commission four more on Exportgatan to further fortify the city’s infrastructure for electric vehicles. These public charging points are accessible to any chargeable vehicle but are specifically designed for trucks.
Volvo Trucks Unveils Upgraded Electric Models
“Volvo Trucks has a market-leading range of electric trucks – and we are constantly improving them to enable more companies to take the step to zero-emission vehicles for their daily operations,” said Jessica Sandström, global product manager at Volvo Trucks.
“The upgraded Volvo FL and FE models are ideal work tools for companies with sustainability high on their agenda and offer a wide range of applications for our customers.”
Volvo Trucks is aiming for half of its global sales to be electric by 2030. In its latest report, the company has sold nearly 5,000 electric trucks in 40 countries. Besides the FL and FE models, Volvo’s electric lineup includes heavy-duty FH, FM, and FMX models, along with the medium-duty VNR tailored for the North American market.
Since their initial launch in 2019, the Volvo FL and FE electric trucks have been used in various applications such as distribution, waste management, and construction projects, particularly in densely populated urban environments.
The recent upgrades include an increased range of up to 450 km and a significant reduction in charging time, now capable of charging with up to 43 kW. This improvement effectively halves the charging time, making these trucks more adaptable to the demands of urban transport, where time efficiency is crucial.
Safety features have also been significantly upgraded to meet the evolving regulatory landscape. In response to the bustling urban environment where trucks share space with various road users, the updated models include functions such as the detection of unprotected road users and side collision warnings.
In terms of aesthetics, the models receive a facelift with a new front design, distinctive LED headlights, and a larger Volvo logo, providing a more modern and appealing appearance. The interior has been revamped with new LED lighting and a lockable storage compartment, enhancing both functionality and driver comfort. Narrower side mirrors improve the driver’s direct view.
Another notable innovation is the introduction of a new electric power take-off interface for the electric versions of the FL and FE. This feature simplifies truck customisation without the need for an electromechanical engine, reducing both weight and complexity.
The upgraded Volvo FL and FE models are available for order, with deliveries set to begin in the first half of 2024.