Business & operations


Although electric trucks are proving to be popular solutions for businesses that want to cut their emissions and boost productivity, you need to be sure that everything involved in the switch to electric – from charging infrastructure to finance plans – is right for you. This Q&A should give you a good overview..


From the industry's perspective, it is to develop knowledge about how to use the technology in the most efficient way, by optimising routes, battery energy usage, servicing schedules and the availability of the trucks. From society's perspective, the transition must be encouraged by means of incentives, including supportive taxation, and by helping to provide the green electricity, the charging infrastructure and grid capacity to support a large number of vehicles. The main factor is the demand for more sustainable transport. This will remain the driving force behind the transition for the foreseeable future. In Europe, new tougher CO2 regulations for heavy vehicles in 2025 and 2030 are driving deployment in the direction of electromobility. Government incentives to speed up the deployment are being introduced in more and more countries.

Because electric trucks produce no exhaust gases, they can also make deliveries in zero emission zones. In addition they are quieter, which means that they can operate in cities at night when other heavy vehicles are not allowed to. As a result, electric trucks can increase the efficiency of a business. The trucks can be on the road when there is less congestion and make deliveries more quickly and easily. They also improve productivity, because they can make more journeys during periods when there is less traffic, and get even closer to the end delivery point because of their silent operation. For drivers, electric trucks offer a better working environment due to less vibrations and quiet operation.

That depends on the truck model and number of batteries. At the moment, our electric trucks typically offer a range of up to 300 km on one charge, with the Volvo FL Electric being capable of up to 450 km. If you charge during the regulated lunch break, the range is extended. However, the range depends to a large extent on external conditions such as the weather and wind resistance, together with the weight of the truck and the driver’s driving style. The range and the service life can be extended by using economy drive modes, training the driver and carefully following the instructions for charging and managing the batteries. We look closely at each customer’s circumstances and draw up possible routes and charging strategies. Customers can use digital tools to track and plan the use of the truck so that the charging patterns can be improved over time.

Vovlo Trucks assists the customer with route planning for electric trucks to make them as productive as possible. Speed, load, traffic information, topography and possibilities for fast charging are all parameters that are taken into account. The Volvo Connect portal has a Route & Range Planning function which allows customers to plan routes and share them with the driver via the truck’s instrument cluster. This makes it easy to calculate the range and gives the option of making more deliveries based on the charging status

Electric trucks with net zero CO2 and low levels of noise make it possible to transport goods in zero emission zones and at times when trucks with traditional drivelines could not normally be used. This can allow for more, and quicker, deliveries in one shift. The experience of driving electric trucks is also more positive because of the lower levels of vibration and faster acceleration response. Combined with the lack of exhaust fumes, this leads to better working conditions for drivers, and a lower environmental impact. In addition, goods can be delivered inside buildings with electric trucks. Many transport buyers have set ambitious goals for delivering zero emission transports, and haulers that can offer this will probably see an increase in demand for their services

Fully electric trucks are ideal for transporting goods in and around cities on pre-defined routes which include a return to the home base at the end of the working day for charging.


Distribution, urban construction and refuse collection (often for city and municipal authorities) are examples of segments that have been early adopters of electric trucks. But the capacity of Volvo’s heavy-duty electric trucks now also allows goods to be transported between cities.


At the moment, some of our electric trucks can offer a range of up to 450 km on one charge. If you charge during the regulated lunch break the range is extended.

Electrification, in the form of battery electric and fuAel cell electric vehicles, will become possible in more and more segments. At the moment, the main exceptions are long-haul transport, due to a lack of charging infrastructure, and heavy-duty transport applications in the timber, construction and mining industries.

Initially electric trucks will involve a higher investment than the equivalent diesel models, but they can be cheaper to run. However, we are in a transition phase between fossil fuels and long-term sustainable transport solutions and the cost of new technology is expected to fall over time due to improved economies of scale. Electric trucks are more energy efficient than diesel trucks, in many cases up to 50% more energy efficient.

Haulage companies are starting to feel the pressure from their transport buyers and from end consumers to offer more sustainable transport solutions. More and more businesses want to reduce their CO2 emissions and contribute to a more sustainable society. New business opportunities are becoming available for companies that want to be able to transport goods to locations and at times that are not possible with diesel-powered trucks. A growing number of cities are introducing zero emission zones where only electric vehicles are permitted. Taxes are also being discussed which will support the transition to a more CO2-neutral society.

The payback time is highly dependent on the segment and the market. Electric trucks can also open up new business opportunities. Their economic viability will increase over time with economies of scale and as different segments mature. The low variable costs will lead to greater profitability the more the truck is used. Once the high initial investment has been paid off, the low variable costs of electric trucks will have a positive impact on profitability.

Profitability is highly dependent on the type of transport. Electric trucks come with a higher initial purchase cost but also offer new opportunities for haulage companies to improve productivity and open up new areas of business. For example, they can operate at off-peak times and meet the needs of city authorities and other customers more effectively than their competitors. The low variable costs will lead to greater profitability the more the truck is used. Once the high initial investment has been paid off, electric trucks have low variable costs which also has a positive impact on profitability.

Please contact your local energy provider to learn more about the options available.

Electric trucks should ideally be charged overnight at your home base to keep energy costs to a minimum. In addition, you should plan the routes carefully to make best use of the available energy capacity. Otherwise the same considerations apply as for other types of trucks. You should make sure that the vehicle is configured for the job and also drive economically and set up a maintenance plan to ensure the best possible performance and availability.

Several EU countries offer some kind of incentive to promote the use of more environmentally friendly technology, such as electric trucks. Please contact your local Volvo Trucks representative in your country for more information.

Energy costs vary greatly between different countries. It is usually cheaper to charge a truck overnight and at your home base. Please contact your local energy supplier to find the best solution from both a financial and an environmental perspective.

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) are likely to provide a large proportion of urban and regional transport in the future, because of their financial and environmental advantages. It is safe to say that electric mobility is here to stay. The technology is well-proven in buses, cars and other machinery. The widely held view in the transport industry is that electric trucks will play a vital role in the transition to a fossil-free future

In general, to be able make the comparison it is necessary to look at the total cost of ownership. The shift to electric trucks means a higher initial investment for the transport company, followed by considerably lower running costs. Electric trucks often also offer new business opportunities as they are able to transport goods to locations and at times that are not possible with fossil-fuel trucks. A growing number of cities are introducing zero emission zones where only electric vehicles are permitted. The suitability of the solution must be analysed together with the local customers. Also, we believe the initial investment will be reduced as the volumes increase and the cost of batteries decreases over time. 

A number of things can be done by transport buyers in order to further enable the switch to electric. Partnership is key, and trust can be built by being open about the challenges faced by your business, as well as sharing data. Concrete actions that can make electric transportation easier include: providing longer contracts for companies that use electric trucks, providing charging equipment at your premises, and making provisions for increased flexibility of departure and arrival times.

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