Monthly Archives

August 2023

Volvo’s New Solutions Ease the Transition to Electric for Trucking Fleets

Volvo electric trucks

At Recharge America we like to reflect on the many benefits that accrue when we begin to electrify major areas of the economy. This week we’re celebrating a recent announcement from Volvo that puts those benefits on full display.

Volvo electric trucksVolvo has debuted a program to make fleet conversions to electric a smooth transition for their heavy-duty vehicle customers. As reported this week by Fleet Owner magazine, Volvo’s services are available to all of their North American trucking customers (VTNA).

According to the article, Volvo has partnered with two equipment providers to make EV experts available to any VTNA customers who want to explore their options. Fleet operators will work with representatives from InCharge Energy or Gilbarco Veeder-Root to figure out how much charging they’ll need, how to source and install the equipment, and even the financing for it. VTNA customers will have the ability to choose either sourcing and purchasing the equipment themselves or purchasing charging stations through a VTNA requisition program. Perhaps the most innovative benefit to Volvo’s approach is that they will guarantee charging availability to their customers even while waiting for equipment to be obtained and installed. In other words, because the lead times for heavy-duty EVs and the chargers they require can be long and not in sync with each other, fleets could potentially end up in a situation where they’ve received EV trucks but don’t yet have a way to charge them. VTNA promises to cover that gap.

If you’re reading this and you’re not a heavy-duty fleet operator, you might be thinking “how is this relevant to me?” Fair question. But it’s actually an exciting development in a number of ways:

  1. Medium- and heavy-duty trucking accounts for almost 25% of all the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. Not only that, but these vehicles have gotten significantly less-efficient over time: their emissions are up 78% from 1990 levels. Reducing emissions in this sector would go a long way toward cleaner air for everyone across the country.

  2. Trucks transport about 72% (by weight) of everything that moves around the country. Chances are that whatever you last purchased, ate, wore, or used spent some amount of time being transported on a truck. Trucking touches nearly every aspect of our lives.

  3. The biggest hurdle to EV adoption at any scale — whether it’s a heavy-duty fleet of 100 trucks or a personal vehicle around town — is charging infrastructure. Volvo’s proactive approach to simplifying fleet conversions signals a willingness to find solutions to that hurdle. Solving the problem at such a large scale makes individual, personal adoption seem easy by comparison. And that’s good news for all of us as well.

Energy City Indeed: Recharge Elk River

Minnesota State’s Transportation Center of Excellence hands-on careers trailer

Around 250 attendees from Elk River and the surrounding area came out on August 5 to test out EVs and e-bikes! The event at the Furniture and Things Community Event Center took place on one of the best weather days in awhile, offering perfect conditions for family fun. The steering committee — which included the City of Elk River, Sherburne County, the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, Xcel Energy, Connexus Energy, and the Energy City Commission — chose a theme of “ElectriFUNcation” and the day delivered!

Vern Iverson’s personal calculations of his savings since 2017

Vern Iverson, a member of the Energy City Commission and an EV owner since 2017, not only shared his Tesla Y but also calculations of his personal savings since switching to EVs in 2017. Attendees had almost a dozen vehicles to look at or drive, with models from Ford, Tesla, Volvo, Kia, VW, and Chevy in the mix. Elk River’s police department even brought their Ford Interceptor electric police cruiser!

The day also focused on careers in electrification, with Minnesota State bringing their hands-on career trailer and Cornerstone Auto, Anoka Technical College, and Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services all hosting tables to talk about available jobs and training.

Test drives in progress. More than 150 e-bike rides and test drives took place over the four hour event.

Events like these not only provide an introduction to electrification, but they foster conversations between neighbors about how and why they’ve chosen EVs. One attendee even let us know this week that since the event on Saturday, they’ve been to the Tesla dealership and ordered their next car! Those experiences can’t be replicated online or just by looking at a car brochure. We’re proud to have helped support this event and look forward to working with the Elk River community in the future.