Volvo Trucks is bringing its all-electric semi truck to California in 2019

The Volvo VNR will demonstrate its capabilities for a year in California before going on sale to the whole US in 2020.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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The Volvo electric VNR pairs Volvo's advanced VNR truck platform with its proven FE Electric drivetrain to create a veritable Voltron of efficient, green regional trucking.

Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks, not to be confused with the maker of the and the , is getting ready to put its new electric VNR truck on California's roads starting in 2019, with sales beginning in North America in 2020, the company announced today.

The all-electric VNR regional transport truck is based on established EV technology that Volvo pioneered in its FE Electric city buses, introduced earlier this year. Volvo Trucks' aptly named sister company Volvo Buses has managed to sell more than 4,000 electric buses since it launched them in 2010.

The FE Electric drivetrain consists of two electric motors that produce a maximum of 496 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The motors are paired with a two-speed transmission that can transmit a total of 20,651 lb-ft of torque to the truck's rear axle. The system is available with battery packs of up to 300 kilowatt-hours that deliver a range of approximately 124 miles.

"The Volvo VNR Electric leverages the versatility of the new Volvo VNR series with a proven fully electric powertrain, and represents a strategic stride toward a comprehensive electrified transport ecosystem," Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, said in a statement Wednesday. "Cities prioritizing sustainable urban development can leverage electrified transport solutions to help improve air quality and reduce traffic noise. Cleaner, quieter, fully electric commercial transport also creates opportunities for expanded morning and late-night operations, helping cut traffic congestion during peak hours."

The VNR demonstration program is a cooperative effort between Volvo Trucks and the South Coast Air Quality Management District which monitors air quality throughout the non-desert portions of Southern California. The partnership is called LIGHTS, which stands for Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions.

The LIGHTS partnership has already received a $44.8 million grant from the California Air Resources Board to help modernize and improve the fleets and facilities of two of the states largest trucking companies.

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