- Select customers in Europe will get first crack at Volvo's electric trucks this year, with a more general rollout scheduled for 2019, a Volvo press release said Tuesday.
- The North American market remains behind the European one, but should advance as battery technology improves. Volvo described electric trucks as a "viable future freight transport solution" in North America.
- The trucks are valuable in that they're quiet and emit minimal emissions, leading to enhanced logistics solutions such as night deliveries in residential neighborhoods that may be overcrowded during peak hours.
Though the days of shipping and handling fees and delivery times of a week or more are long past, the last mile remains challenging for logistics companies of all sizes.
UPS intends to convert its NYC trucks from diesel to electric as soon as this spring, while J.B. Hunt, Fortigo Freight and Walmart have all gone fully electric, placing truck orders with Tesla less than a week after their introduction to the market.
With companies eager to utilize electric trucks, vehicle manufacturers must be ready to keep pace with the demand. That means optimizing efficiency in their own operations, in addition to getting the necessary materials from their suppliers.
"We’ll continue to monitor our supply chain to ensure our suppliers adhere to environmentally and socially responsible production practices, in addition to meeting necessary technical requirements and production volumes.” Brandon Borgna, a spokesperson for Volvo Trucks North America, told Supply Chain Dive.
On the West Coast in particular, and especially at various ports where emissions reductions have become mandatory, electric trucks will likely become the norm within a year or two of their introduction to American shores.