FAQ about electric trucks 


As electromobility becomes more well-established, people still want to find out more about it: about the environmental impact of the technology, how charging works, and what range is available, for example. Here, you can find frequently-asked questions and our answers, grouped into the following categories: sustainability, batteries and charging, products and services, and business and operations.


Electromobility refers to vehicles – including cars, buses, trains and trucks – that are fully or partly powered by electricity, have a means of storing energy on board and are usually supplied with electricity via the grid. The main type of heavy truck with an electric driveline is the BEV (battery electric vehicle), but there are also electric vehicles fuelled by hydrogen called fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Electromobility also includes the charging infrastructure and support services for range and route planning and other functions.

Many companies are formulating ambitious goals for greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the Paris agreement, for example, and electric trucks are one of the means of achieving these goals. Stricter emission regulations are also driving this technology, as well as the desire for better air quality and less noise, especially in urban areas. Another important driver is transport efficiency. Electric trucks can make deliveries at night and in off-peak periods, and can access more locations than their diesel counterparts, including inside buildings. Transport buyers are also a driving force, as many have set ambitious goals for delivering zero emission transports.

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) uses energy stored in batteries charged with electricity from the grid. An electric vehicle using fuel cell technology (FCEV) is fuelled with hydrogen which is converted to electricity while the vehicle is being driven. The fuel cell electric trucks are electric, like battery electric trucks, with the difference that most of the energy in a FCEV is stored as hydrogen, with some support from batteries. Volvo Trucks is working with both technologies. While battery electric trucks can be purchased today, fuel cell electric trucks will be available for commercial use in the second half of this decade.

The environmental impact of an electric truck is very low when the truck is in use, but slightly higher during production. However, because trucks have high usage rates, it is possible to compensate for this quickly. The breakeven of an electric truck in terms of climate impact can be achieved within less than a year when using electricity from renewable sources or from nuclear power. Electric drivelines are much more energy efficient than diesel drivelines and produce no tailpipe emissions. They have the lowest environmental impact when they use electricity from renewable sources. 

An electric vehicle produces zero tailpipe emissions and considerably less noise than a combustion engine vehicle. However, emissions are released during production and while driving from tyres, brakes, road wear etc.

To answer this you need to look at the total life cycle of the vehicle including raw materials, production and usage. An electric truck emits more CO2 during production, but generally much less when being used. However, the local energy mix - the availability of coal versus wind or solar energy for example - has a significant effect on the overall impact of the vehicle. For more information and precise calculations, please see the Volvo Trucks environmental footprint calculator.

Yes, about 90% of the life cycle environmental impact of a traditional diesel truck comes from usage. Trucks that run on electricity from renewable sources have a much lower usage impact. At Volvo we work hard to make sure that the raw materials are extracted using sustainable methods and that batteries are produced with minimal impact on the climate. 

We require all our suppliers and their suppliers to follow our values with regard to respect for human rights, the environment and business ethics. 

Lithium ion batteries contain certain scarce materials, such as heavy metals and rare earth metals. Some of the scarce materials that can be found in lithium ion batteries and other electromobility components sometimes come from sources that benefit armed groups in the area of origin, either directly or indirectly. Often these materials are referred to as conflict minerals. Volvo Trucks is assessing its entire supply chain to ensure that all the tantalum, tungsten, tellurium, gold and cobalt used in its truck batteries comes from non-conflict sources. The Volvo Group respects human rights and does not tolerate any form of  child labor or forced labor. We also collaborate with the European automotive industry through the "Drive Sustainability" Initiative ( The purpose of this collaboration is to jointly drive positive change in the automotive supply chain with regards to human rights and environment.

So far the numbers of end-of-life batteries have been fairly low, but as we ramp up our production of electrified trucks the need for recycling and reuse streams will increase. To be prepared for this, Volvo Trucks is working together with waste contractors and other actors to maximise the recycling rate of electric batteries. We are also looking into second use options for old batteries to find ways of prolonging their useful life in other applications, such as energy storage in buildings.


Volvo Group has established Volvo Energy, a business area that will manage the batteries after the usage in the first truck. There will be opportunities to repurpose e.g. energy storage, as well as opportunities concerning remanufacturing, refurbishment and recycling. We closely follow the development of recycling technologies and participate in several projects where electric vehicle (EV) batteries are transferred to other applications, such as storage in solar energy systems, after they have reached their operational capacity limit. 

We take a holistic approach to the entire life cycle as well as the supply chain, including suppliers, materials, logistics, manufacturing and recycling. This includes both how the driveline and batteries are produced, as well as which materials are being used.

This varies greatly from country to country. But, the availability of energy from renewable sources is growing rapidly, and this energy is often more cost-effective than fossil fuels. As one of the world's largest manufacturers of heavy trucks we have the opportunity to work with other influential stakeholders, such as energy providers. We are committed to leading the way towards a fossil-free future, and therefore promote green energy as much as we can to our customers, to policymakers, and through different projects and forums. For more information regarding the EU energy mix, please see the Volvo Trucks environmental footprint calculator.

We believe that by 2030 more than 50% of all new Volvo trucks sold will be electric, using either battery or fuel cell technology.

From the industry's perspective, it is to develop knowledge about how to use the technology in the most efficient way, by optimising routes, battery energy usage, servicing schedules and the availability of the trucks. From society's perspective, the transition must be encouraged by means of incentives, including supportive taxation, and by helping to provide the green electricity, the charging infrastructure and grid capacity to support a large number of vehicles. The main factor is the demand for more sustainable transport. This will remain the driving force behind the transition for the foreseeable future. In Europe, new tougher CO2 regulations for heavy vehicles in 2025 and 2030 are driving deployment in the direction of electromobility. Government incentives to speed up the deployment are being introduced in more and more countries.

Electric vehicles require a large amount of energy when they are being charged. One way of managing this is to encourage users to charge their vehicles overnight and to spread and balance the demand over both large grids and local grids in smart ways. Major investments are now being made - and are urgently needed - in developing the infrastructure and creating more charging stations. Initially, most trucks will need to be charged at their home base. At Volvo we are stressing the need for governments to introduce incentives for the installation of public charging stations with a high capacity and enough space for trucks. 

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Traton Group have formed a joint venture that aims to install and operate at least 1,700 public charging points near highways and at logistics hubs and unloading zones, within five years from start of operation. The charging stations will be operated exclusively with green electricity and offer charging to all heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, regardless of brand. 

Volvo electric trucks fulfil both of the following criteria:

(a) reusable or recyclable to a minimum of 85% by weight

(b) reusable or recoverable to a minimum of 95% by weight


They meet these requirements with a margin based on ISO 22628. Reports showing the details of the material composition in each of the truck models, and the subsequent recyclability and recovery rates, are made available.

Products & Services

Because electric trucks produce no exhaust gases, they can also make deliveries in zero emission zones. In addition they are quieter, which means that they can operate in cities at night when other heavy vehicles are not allowed to. As a result, electric trucks can increase the efficiency of a business. The trucks can be on the road when there is less congestion and make deliveries more quickly and easily. They also improve productivity, because they can make more journeys during periods when there is less traffic, and get even closer to the end delivery point because of their silent operation. For drivers, electric trucks offer a better working environment due to less vibrations and quiet operation.

Volvo currently offers the industry's broadest product line-up with eight models in series production, catering to a very wide variety of transports in and between cities. Models available are Volvo FH Aero, Volvo FH, Volvo FM, Volvo FM Low Entry, Volvo FMX, Volvo FE, Volvo FL and Volvo VNR (available lineup depends on market: Volvo VNR is available in North America).  In 2023, serial production started on a new range of rigid trucks to complement the existing line-up. 

When we supply a truck, we assess the route carefully with the customer and calculate where charging will be needed to meet the transport requirements. Volvo is constantly investigating new options and collaborations relating to the charging of our vehicles.

Initially we believe that the majority of trucks will be charged at the customer’s home base overnight. As electric vehicles become more common, there will also be the need and the opportunity to charge them in many different places, such as loading bays, service workshops, truck stops and other places where trucks are parked.

Our heavy-duty trucks can be charged with an AC charger (for example a charging box) at up to 43 kW and with a DC system (stationary charging station) which has a capacity of 250 kW.

Using an AC charger it takes around 9 hours to fully charge the batteries. With a DC charger, the charging time is reduced to approximately 2 hours. The battery can be charged more quickly up to 80% capacity, in just the same way as a smartphone, because the charger slows down towards the end of the process to protect the battery cells.

That depends on the truck model and number of batteries. At the moment, our electric trucks typically offer a range of up to 300 km on one charge, with the Volvo FL Electric being capable of up to 450 km. If you charge during the regulated lunch break, the range is extended. However, the range depends to a large extent on external conditions such as the weather and wind resistance, together with the weight of the truck and the driver’s driving style. The range and the service life can be extended by using economy drive modes, training the driver and carefully following the instructions for charging and managing the batteries. We look closely at each customer’s circumstances and draw up possible routes and charging strategies. Customers can use digital tools to track and plan the use of the truck so that the charging patterns can be improved over time. 

The lifetime of a battery is detemined by many different factors. There is natural ageing over time, but it's also influenced by how much energy is cycled through the battery. The Gold Service Contract not only covers service and maintenance for the truck but also ensures that its batteries are functional throughout the contract period.

The driver can track the state of charge on the truck’s instrument cluster. It can also be monitored remotely via the Volvo Connect portal which shows the location of the truck and the current charging status in different views. Volvo’s MyTruck app also has a charge monitoring function and a series of other useful functions for electric trucks. 

Vovlo Trucks assists the customer with route planning for electric trucks to make them as productive as possible. Speed, load, traffic information, topography and possibilities for fast charging are all parameters that are taken into account. The Volvo Connect portal has a Route & Range Planning function which allows customers to plan routes and share them with the driver via the truck’s instrument cluster. This makes it easy to calculate the range and gives the option of making more deliveries based on the charging status.

The Volvo service contract for electric trucks includes monitoring the batteries to ensure that they maintain their capacity during their service life. The contract also guarantees the battery function beyond the two-year driveline guarantee that comes with the truck. The lifetime of a battery is determined by many different factors, for instance you have the natural ageing over time, but it's also influenced by how much energy that is cycled through the battery. We have a service contract (Gold Service Contract) that not only covers service and maintenance for the truck, but also ensures batteries throughout the contract period.

Volvo’s electric trucks meet the same high crash safety standards as our other trucks and offer the same safety systems as the diesel models. On top of that, specific crash scenarios have been added for the electric trucks to verify the crashworthiness of the battery installation and other electric components. Furthermore, we have made every effort to design the 600-volt electric system in the truck to be safe when the truck is in use and during servicing.

The energy status of the battery can be tracked on the dashboard and remotely at all times. If it does approach zero, the driver is notified and the available power is reduced, which will influence drivability. 

We use lithium-ion batteries. Depending on the model, trucks can be offered with anything from 2 to 6 battery packs. Each battery pack has a total energy of 90 kWh. Each battery weighs 505 kg. In 2022 we opened our first battery assembly  plant in Ghent in Belgium. The plant will supply batteries for our electric heavy-duty trucks.

Volvo is investigating and offering remanufacturing, recycling and second life solutions, in which the batteries can be used for different purposes.

The maintenance intervals are roughly the same, but servicing is different than servicing a traditional driveline. The consumption of spare parts depends on the transport application, the region where the truck is in operation, and many other factors. The trucks are connected, and can report on the condition of different components, which means that servicing and maintenance can be organised to increase their uptime.

All of the dealers that sell electric trucks are ready to take full responsibility for the technical systems and functions of the trucks. Many of the service workshops already have extensive experience of servicing electric buses.

The performance curve of electric trucks is different from that of trucks with combustion engines. For example, the power kicks in as soon as you put your foot on the accelerator. The fact that electric trucks use fewer gears also makes for a different driving experience.

Electric trucks produce less vibration and make less noise, which leads to a comfortable and relaxing driving experience.

Please contact your local Volvo dealer and register your interest.

We started series production of fully electric trucks for customers in 2019, but we began selling hybrid trucks that run on a combination of electricity and other fuels well before that. Other parts of the Volvo Group, in particular Volvo Buses, have extensive experience of electric vehicles. Volvo delivered the first all-electric bus in 2017 and have up until now delivered more than 6,000 hybrids, electric hybrids and fully electric buses worldwide.

Our electric trucks share a platform with our other drivelines and meet the same high standards of quality. Volvo’s highly trained staff will help customers to configure their trucks to meet their specific requirements and will provide expert support while the truck is in operation. The batteries and the overall condition of the trucks are constantly monitored to allow any measures that need to be taken during the next service visit to be identified in good time. To secure a high daily performance of the batteries, a technological service called Ready to Run is available. It prepares the truck for a productive workday, based on external temperatures. When needed, it pre-heats the batteries, or if operating in very warm weather, it cools them. The optimal temperature for the batteries is around +25°C.

DC charging using CCS2 up to 250 kW (600-750V) and AC charging using type 2 up to 43 kW.


Electric trucks with net zero CO2 and low levels of noise make it possible to transport goods in zero emission zones and at times when trucks with traditional drivelines could not normally be used. This can allow for more, and quicker, deliveries in one shift. The experience of driving electric trucks is also more positive because of the lower levels of vibration and faster acceleration response. Combined with the lack of exhaust fumes, this leads to better working conditions for drivers, and a lower environmental impact. In addition, goods can be delivered inside buildings with electric trucks. Many transport buyers have set ambitious goals for delivering zero emission transports, and haulers that can offer this will probably see an increase in demand for their services.

Fully electric trucks are ideal for transporting goods in and around cities on pre-defined routes which include a return to the home base at the end of the working day for charging. 


Distribution, urban construction and refuse collection (often for city and municipal authorities) are examples of segments that have been early adopters of electric trucks. But the capacity of Volvo’s heavy-duty electric trucks now also allows goods to be transported between cities.


At the moment, some of our electric trucks can offer a range of up to 450 km on one charge. If you charge during the regulated lunch break the range is extended.

Electrification, in the form of battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, will become possible in more and more segments. At the moment, the main exceptions are long-haul transport, due to a lack of charging infrastructure, and heavy-duty transport applications in the timber, construction and mining industries. 

Initially electric trucks will involve a higher investment than the equivalent diesel models, but they can be cheaper to run. However, we are in a transition phase between fossil fuels and long-term sustainable transport solutions and the cost of new technology is expected to fall over time due to improved economies of scale. Electric trucks are more energy efficient than diesel trucks, in many cases up to 50% more energy efficient. 

Haulage companies are starting to feel the pressure from their transport buyers and from end consumers to offer more sustainable transport solutions. More and more businesses want to reduce their CO2 emissions and contribute to a more sustainable society. New business opportunities are becoming available for companies that want to be able to transport goods to locations and at times that are not possible with diesel-powered trucks. A growing number of cities are introducing zero emission zones where only electric vehicles are permitted. Taxes are also being discussed which will support the transition to a more CO2-neutral society.

All our existing payment solutions will be available for our electric vehicles: cash payment, leasing and rental. These will be adapted to the needs of each individual customer. 

Yes, series production started in 2019 and deliveries are being made to customers worldwide. 

The payback time is highly dependent on the segment and the market. Electric trucks can also open up new business opportunities. Their economic viability will increase over time with economies of scale and as different segments mature. The low variable costs will lead to greater profitability the more the truck is used. Once the high initial investment has been paid off, the low variable costs of electric trucks will have a positive impact on profitability.

Profitability is highly dependent on the type of transport. Electric trucks come with a higher initial purchase cost but also offer new opportunities for haulage companies to improve productivity and open up new areas of business. For example, they can operate at off-peak times and meet the needs of city authorities and other customers more effectively than their competitors. The low variable costs will lead to greater profitability the more the truck is used. Once the high initial investment has been paid off, electric trucks have low variable costs which also has a positive impact on profitability.

Please contact your local energy provider to learn more about the options available.

Electric trucks should ideally be charged overnight at your home base to keep energy costs to a minimum. In addition, you should plan the routes carefully to make best use of the available energy capacity. Otherwise the same considerations apply as for other types of trucks. You should make sure that the vehicle is configured for the job and also drive economically and set up a maintenance plan to ensure the best possible performance and availability.

Please contact your local Volvo Trucks representative for more information.

Several EU countries offer some kind of incentive to promote the use of more environmentally friendly technology, such as electric trucks. Please contact your local Volvo Trucks representative in your country for more information. 

Energy costs vary greatly between different countries. It is usually cheaper to charge a truck overnight and at your home base. Please contact your local energy supplier to find the best solution from both a financial and an environmental perspective.

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) are likely to provide a large proportion of urban and regional transport in the future, because of their financial and environmental advantages. It is safe to say that electric mobility is here to stay. The technology is well-proven in buses, cars and other machinery. The widely held view in the transport industry is that electric trucks will play a vital role in the transition to a fossil-free future. 

Yes, we will continue to offer a range of different drivelines and will suggest the most suitable solution for each individual customer and geographic location. We will supply a mix of increasingly fuel-efficient combustion engine trucks, gas-powered trucks and electric trucks. 

We offer our electric trucks with Gold Service contracts, which means that the cost of maintenance will be included in the total cost of ownership. We will make sure that the total cost of ownership is competitive.

This depends on the application and vehicle specification. The batteries add extra weight and to help compensate for that the EU is allowing an extra GCW of up to 2 tonnes. The decision and the implementation are up to each individual country.

In general, to be able make the comparison it is necessary to look at the total cost of ownership. The shift to electric trucks means a higher initial investment for the transport company, followed by considerably lower running costs. Electric trucks often also offer new business opportunities as they are able to transport goods to locations and at times that are not possible with fossil-fuel trucks. A growing number of cities are introducing zero emission zones where only electric vehicles are permitted. The suitability of the solution must be analysed together with the local customers. Also, we believe the initial investment will be reduced as the volumes increase and the cost of batteries decreases over time. 

A number of things can be done by transport buyers in order to further enable the switch to electric. Partnership is key, and trust can be built by being open about the challenges faced by your business, as well as sharing data. Concrete actions that can make electric transportation easier include: providing longer contracts for companies that use electric trucks, providing charging equipment at your premises, and making provisions for increased flexibility of departure and arrival times. 

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