Volvo Vnr Electric Truck

VTNA deploys all-electric VNR pilot

June 23, 2020
TEC Equipment to use the Volvo LIGHTS project’s first pilot truck for local parts distribution in Southern California

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) recently deployed its first pilot VNR Electric truck in Southern California as part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project.

The goal of the LIGHTS project, a collaboration with South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and 13 other organizations, is to develop a blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale, Volvo said. 

The first pilot Volvo VNR Electric truck will operate at the Volvo Trucks North America TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana CA. The zero-emission truck will transport local parts between the TEC Equipment dealerships in Fontana and La Mirada. 

“Volvo Trucks is proud to lead the way in the sustainable electrification of freight movement,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of VTNA. “Working with our dealership, TEC Equipment, to pilot the first Volvo VNR Electric on the road and in real-world applications is an exciting step toward our plans to commercialize these zero-emission trucks in North America this fall. The all-electric Volvo VNR will become the ideal truck model for short- and regional-haul applications, such as urban distribution and drayage.”

The TEC Fontana dealership has two 50-kilowatt chargers inside its truck maintenance bays, as well as a 150-kW charger located outside to enable fleet customers to fast charge at the dealership. Over the past year, the Volvo LIGHTS team worked with Southern California Edison (the local utility) and San Bernardino County (Authority Having Jurisdiction, or AHJ) to safely install the high-power infrastructure. 

“This experience in designing, planning and installing high-power chargers for electric trucks has taught us how critical it is to engage a variety of stakeholders early on,” said Aravind Kailas, advanced technology policy director for Volvo Group North America. “The Volvo LIGHTS project has provided valuable insight into how to build realistic project timelines.

“Despite the unavoidable delays due to the COVID-19 situation, we’re proud the team has been able to continue moving the project forward.”

Starting in 2021, Southern California businesses will have the opportunity to lease Volvo VNR Electric trucks from TEC Equipment to gain firsthand experience with these advanced trucks in their fleet operations. 

“Everyone on my team that has had an opportunity to drive the Volvo VNR Electric has been surprised by how smooth the truck operates,” said Mike Reardon, general manager of TEC Equipment’s Fontana dealership. “Our parts delivery driver loves taking it out, saying it is very quiet and comfortable in the cab and has great power at take-off.”

TEC said its Fontana team will be fully trained and equipped to safely perform maintenance for its fleet customers. In addition to being outfitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) for working with high voltage, the technicians have been trained on the proper procedure to isolate the high voltage for diagnosis and service repairs. 

“We are proud that our Fontana dealership will be first in in North America to pilot the Volvo VNR Electric model,” said Dave Thompson, president and CEO of TEC. “Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, we are gaining valuable hands-on experience for our drivers and maintenance staff to ensure that we are well prepared to support the widescale deployment of these advanced, zero-emission trucks throughout the Southern California freight corridor.”

As part of the Volvo LIGHTS project, two local fleet operators—NFI Industries and Dependable Supply Chain Services—will also begin demonstrating the pilot Volvo VNR Electric trucks for full operations in their regional routes later this summer.   

The Volvo LIGHTS project was made possible by an award to South Coast AQMD of $44.8 million from CARB as part of California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.  

As a result, South Coast AQMD contributed $4 million from the Clean Fuels Fund and awarded a $45.6 million contract to the Volvo Group to design and implement the project. Volvo and its partners have promised no less than $45.7 million matching contribution to increase the total project value to over $91 million for South Coast AQMD to administer. 

“Residents in communities across Southern California, and particularly in San Bernardino County are affected by air pollution as a result of trucks transporting goods throughout the state,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s executive officer. “We are excited to see this first all-electric truck on the roads and hope that this is just the first of many zero-emission technologies deployed to reduce air pollution locally.”

To learn more about the Volvo LIGHTS project, visit lightsproject.com.

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!