A Volvo electric truck must perform perfectly in any type of climate. To ensure this happens, we test our trucks in extreme weather conditions, such as the snowy cold winter nights in Arjeplog near the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden.
As a company with customers all over the world, we build trucks that can perform everywhere. To make sure our electric trucks will function as expected, even in the coldest climates on Earth, we carry out extensive winter testing. This is done at our test site near Arjeplog, a small village in the far northern part of Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle. Here, the snow lies deep in winter and the temperatures can easily fall below -25°C at night.
“When testing our trucks out in the field, we assess all the unpredictable elements of nature so we can make sure that everything performs correctly under the most extreme circumstances,” explains Jessica Sandström, Global Product Manager Volvo Trucks. “What happens, for example, to a battery-powered truck when the thermometer shows minus 25°C and hard winds are blowing? Our tests have proven that it works very well to operate Volvo’s electric trucks in these really cold environments.”
As part of the climate tests, the functionality of new features on the trucks has been fully verified. Among these are two new innovations that help assure reliability, safety and comfort on our heavy-duty electric trucks:
The new Ready to Run technology prepares the truck for a productive workday, based on the external temperature. When needed it pre-heats both the batteries and the cab of the truck, or if operating in very warm weather, by cooling them. The optimal temperature for the batteries is around +25°C and the driver can easily start the preheating or precooling remotely via an app. In this way, best battery performance is maintained, even when the temperature is far below zero.
The patented Active Grip Control safety invention significantly improves stability, acceleration and braking in slippery conditions – be it snow, rain or gravel. Tests done on the Volvo FH Electric truck on a low friction surface with a loaded trailer showed a 45% improvement at full acceleration.
“The improvement when going up a slippery gravel road is really impressive. I believe this will increase productivity, not least for our construction customers,” says Anna Wrige Berling, Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.
If the truck starts to skid, multiple sensors allow the vehicle’s Active Grip Control system to react to the road surface conditions and utilize the vehicle’s electric motors, along with other actuators, in an intelligent way to help the driver stay on the road.