Although Tesla appeared to lead out in announcing its forthcoming electric semi-truck last November, some of the heavy-duty industry veterans such as Volvo and other manufacturers could beat Elon Musk at his own game. According to a January 2018 article from Trucks.com, Brandon Borgna, a spokesman for Volvo Trucks North America, says that the quiet, emissions-free operation of their forthcoming medium-duty truck will likely increase nighttime delivery, thereby reducing the impact on daytime traffic and deliveries crowded urban areas and ports of Europe. Headquartered in Sweden, Volvo describes the first such vehicle it expects to sell in 2019, as an "cab-over 'urban distribution' truck using Volvo's second-generation medium-duty FE chassis." Although there are differences in trucking patterns between Europe and North America, Borgna sees North America as the next logical introduction for Volvo's electric trucks.
While Tesla quickly racked up 400 reservations at $20,000 a piece for its sleek, electric semi, Volvo Group also announced in a January 31, 2018 press release that a dedicated assembly line for all-electric trucks was being installed at the company's Renault Trucks' brand plant in Normandy. Volvo is still studying and planning towards a semi, but like other manufacturers, is acting on the immediate viability of electric medium-duty trucks for urban markets.
Forbes' Alan Ohnsman writes in a December 2017 article that BYD has started shipping its own electric Class-8 trucks, priced from about $200,000, to haul heavy cargo offloaded at ports. He further explains that the company's U.S. unit is increasing production of electric sanitation and delivery trucks, as well as buses, at a new Lancaster, California, factory that is already open. "Even with Musk's prodigious marketing talents," writes Ohnsman, "Battery-electric semi-trucks will take longer to catch on, assuming that Tesla's semi actually launches on schedule in 2019 or 2020." Visit our site often at Robertson Truck Sales to find out the latest news in the trucking industry and the outlook for electric trucks coming around the corner to America.