The more battery capacity the better, right?

How far is it possible to drive before the batteries have to be recharged? Many of the most common questions about electric vehicles relate to their range. The longer the better, right?
City distribution of daily commodities.

“Of course you have to have sufficient energy on board to cover your operational range. But there is absolutely no reason to drive around with more batteries than necessary,” says Anna Thordén, Product Manager, Electromobility at Volvo Trucks. 

For transportation in urban traffic, it is often more important to be able to carry a heavy load than to drive really far. A typical truck for city distribution is seldom driven longer distances than 200 km per day, and refuse trucks considerably less. In order to strike the right balance between payload and range, battery capacity has to be optimised to match individual needs. This is the basis for efficient, economical transport, and it helps limit the impact on the environment. 

“Our experts analyse the transport assignment, planned routes, topography, desired load capacity, and charging needs in each individual case. We then propose a solution that meets the customer’s availability and productivity requirements. This applies to the entire truck, including its batteries,” explains Anna Thordén.

So how far can one drive on a single charge? The simple answer is up to 300 km*. The best answer, however, is actually a question: how far do you need to drive? 

* Volvo FL Electric for city distribution with a battery capacity of 100–300 kWh.