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The financial case must be just as sound as the environmental argument if electric trucks are to succeed in the marketplace, stakeholders said.
“Economics and sustainability must go hand in hand,” Volvo Trucks North America president Peter Voorhoeve said during an event to update customers and media on the progress of the company’s Volvo LIGHTS project, a partnership through which the manufacturer and 14 partners are testing early versions of the full-electric Volvo VNR trucks that will go on sale commercially in late 2020.
“We need to warm up the engine, make sure we can get the scale and get the trucks on the road. Then, ultimately, the economics will follow.”
He added, “We want a commercial solution.”
Focused on developing electric power options for heavy-duty applications, the Volvo LIGHTS project received $44.8 million in funding from the California Air Resources Board in 2018 as part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost the state’s economy and improve public health and the environment. Volvo has contributed $36.7 million to the project, and the other 14 partners involved have made investments, as well. The project is valued at $90 million.