Will tomorrow’s cities need trucks?

Urbanisation doesn’t slow down, cities are growing worldwide and the need for transport keeps increasing. At the same time, air pollution and traffic congestion are huge problems. The need for cleaner and more efficient transport systems is obvious. The question is: will trucks fit into tomorrow’s cities?
Volvo Trucks in cities

The world’s population keeps growing. According to reports from the United Nations, the global population is expected to rise from 7 billion people in 2014 to approximately 9 billion by 2050. The UN estimate that two thirds of all people will live in cities by 2050, compared to just over half the population today. Along with urbanisation, new consumer habits with increased e-commerce and home delivery will also have an impact on society’s need for efficient transport solutions. 

“To overcome traffic-related problems that reduce air quality, such as congestion and emissions, we need to be smart. We must think in terms of the space our transports occupy on our streets and what power sources we use,” says Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.

Some people claim that smaller vans will be the solution for distribution transports in future cities, but it’s not that simple, explains Lars Mårtensson. 

“This might be true for some areas. But generally, a fully loaded truck is a space-efficient means of transport. Actually a distribution truck has just over ten times the load capacity of a smaller van”.  

Electrified trucks can enhance transport efficiency even further. Their low-noise level creates opportunities to perform a wide range of assignments during off-peak hours such as early mornings, late evenings or even at night. This reduces the burden on roads during peak traffic hours. An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. 

“If we could carry out more distribution outside traffic peak-hours, there would be less vehicles and less congestion during the day – when more people need to use the streets. This is also good for the safety situation. Tomorrow’s cities will need to use resources like energy, space and time more efficiently than they do today – and electrified trucks can contribute even more to making that happen”, concludes Lars Mårtensson.