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Volvo FL Electric passes testing phase

The new electric truck was subjected to Australia’s climate to observe battery performance

The Volvo Group Australia has announced their latest FL Electric has passed a multi-faceted testing program.

The tests determined how fast charging and extreme heat can affect range, battery charging and vehicle performance.

The FL Electric, which is equipped with Volvo’s second-generation battery packs and has a total capacity of 265kW, was subjected to a series of on-road tests by local Volvo engineers in over 35-degree heat.

Testers loaded the FL Electric to a gross weight of 15,000 kilograms and then drove it for over 730 kilometres over a variety of traffic conditions and terrain, including climbing up to a six per cent gradient.

The FL Electric travelled on the Toowoomba bypass as well as other routes through inner-city traffic to test its performance in all conditions.

With a predicted energy consumption of 0.9 kWh per kilometre, local testing found the consumption of the truck’s second-generation battery pack to be lightly lower at 0.73 kWh per kilometre.

Another factor observed was the potential of the FL Electric’s regenerative braking, which came to the fore down the Toowoomba range.

Braking energy alone was enough to replenish the battery power by nearly five per cent.

“Temperature is the enemy of battery performance in any vehicle,” Volvo VP of Technology Business Development Paul Illmer says.

“For our industry to go electric, our customers need to know we’ve tried and tested our technology in adverse conditions rather than report contrived figures derived from testing in a controlled environment.”

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The Volvo Group Australia says it is “extremely happy” with the test’s results, which proves the FL Electric is a viable option for a range of urban distribution roles while also being able to tolerate Australia’s climate.

The test drive also included a 40-minute fast charge from 40 per cent battery capacity to understand how opportunity charging may be integrated into an everyday transport operation.

“This year marks the start of commercial sales here in Australia and I look forward to seeing an electric truck with real world usability hit the local market,” Illmer says.

Customer deliveries of the Volvo FL Electric are anticipated to begin during 2022.

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