From November 2020 to March 2022, DHL Supply Chain UK tested urban electromobility the Volvo Trucks way. With a Volvo FL Electric that delivered to retailers in the City of London. According to the transporter, this FL Electric had a 1,500 kg tail lift and a payload of 12 pallets and 6,250 kg. With a range of 200 km thanks to four 200 kWh lithium-ion batteries. It also had a “good braking energy recovery system”.
Urban electromobility thanks to FL
“We have not tested the delivery of a maximum load to a delivery point, because the permitted weight on the rear axle would have been exceeded,” the group said. And to add: “due to the currently variable economic circumstances, the TCO has not been calculated”. It must be established “for each delivery scenario”.
But the experience allowed DHL to validate the operating mode of its urban electromobility. This FL Electric traveled 100 km/day, on a fixed route. The goal: to test the potential of its nocturnal recharge. “The uptime of the vehicle has been excellent. Our drivers gave a very positive opinion”, welcomes DHL. The group therefore ordered 40 FE and FL Electric last May to deliver to European cities.
Power of FH Electric
In Sweden, DHL Freight tested an FH Electric tractor from March 2021 to March 2022 on a 150 km journey. It connected the cities of Bäckebol, Jönköping and Gothenburg. Sometimes even loading 60 tons. “We emphasize positively the comfort of the driver and the low levels of vibrations and noise in the cabin, underlines the carrier. It is a very responsive machine with great power, good maneuverability and good recovery of kinetic energy. It carried out the same missions and loads as a thermal vehicle”. Namely: “inter-site transport during the night, then the distribution of batches in the suburbs during the day”. But the vehicle-recharge-mission combination did not convince.
Overabundance of fast top-ups
Indeed, for DHL, “the electric recharging of the Volvo FH Electric is restrictive with three quick recharges per day for two rounds”. The three refills concern: “in the morning, between the night round and the day round; the afternoon between the day tour and the evening tour; and, finally, a last one during unloading and reloading. On weekends, the truck was also recharged by night slow charging. The charging infrastructure is really crucial in determining the number of heavy trucks that will be able to be charged and calculating their TCO”.
DHL is therefore extending its urban electromobility transport experience to England with four Volvo FM Electrics. The group “will probably replace a large number of its thermal Volvo FL and FE with electric models”. Knowing that “we have 800 copies in Sweden alone,” he says. But we expect to have to deploy multiple alternative energy solutions for the decarbonization of heavy transport. “.