Volvo Trucks has announced a significant step forward in its electrification efforts with the commencement of serial production of heavy battery electric trucks at its Ghent factory in Belgium. This expansion means that Volvo electric trucks are now being manufactured in four facilities, with three located in Europe and one in the United States.
Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks, expressed his excitement about the milestone, stating, “I'm thrilled! The Ghent factory is the largest one in our network, so this is a very important milestone. Now even more transport companies can go electric with Volvo.”
The Ghent factory will be responsible for producing three different electric models: the Volvo FH, the Volvo FM, and the Volvo FMX Electric. These versatile trucks have the capacity to operate at a total weight of 44 tonnes and can be adapted to meet a wide range of transport needs.
Roger Alm emphasized, “Our trucks are much loved for their outstanding quality, safety, design, and driver comfort. It makes me very pleased that our customers can get all these benefits and, at the same time, transport goods without emitting any CO2.”
The Ghent factory, recognized as the largest production site within the Volvo Trucks network, boasts an impressive yearly production capacity of approximately 45,000 trucks. Notably, the electric trucks are assembled on the same platform and production line as their diesel and gas-powered counterparts. This setup provides the factory with high flexibility in accommodating various truck variants and customer demands. The battery packs are sourced from the recently inaugurated battery assembly plant in Ghent, located conveniently adjacent to the production line.
Ghent becomes the fourth Volvo Trucks factory to contribute to the production of battery electric trucks. The journey began in Blainville, France, in 2019, where Volvo initiated the production of electric trucks for refuse handling and city distribution. Subsequently, in the United States, the New River Valley site commenced serial production of the VNR Electric, tailored for regional transport. A significant milestone was reached last year when Volvo Trucks' heaviest range entered serial production at the Tuve plant in Sweden, making Volvo the first global manufacturer to achieve this feat.
To date, Volvo Trucks has received orders, including letters of intent, for approximately 6,000 electric trucks across 42 countries spanning six continents.
Roger Alm reflected on the company's journey, stating, “Just a few years ago, many thought it was impossible to electrify heavy truck transport. But we decided early on that electrification is our main path to zero emissions. Now we can offer an industry-leading range of purpose-built electric trucks, in commercial operation all around the world.”
However, Alm also emphasized the need for governmental support to facilitate the broader adoption of electric trucks, stating, “For the big electric shift to happen, governments need to act now and offer incentive programs for those who invest in the new technology, increase capacity in the power grid, and also introduce CO2 taxes, to make sustainable transport more competitive.”