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Volvo’s Electric Trucks, Tested in Extreme Winter Weather

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

Volvo says its electric truck must perform flawlessly in any climate. So the company tests their trucks in extreme weather conditions to ensure this happens, such as the snowy cold winter nights in Arjeplog near the Arctic Circle north of Sweden. Volvo carry out extensive winter testing to make sure their electric trucks function as expected, even in the coldest climates on Earth. This is done at a 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.

Ready to Run

Based on the external temperature, the new Ready to Run technology prepares the truck for a productive workday. When needed, it preheats both the batteries and the truck's cab, or if operating in hot weather, by cooling them. The optimal temperature for the batteries is around +25°C and the driver can quickly 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.

Active Grip Control

The patented Active Grip Control safety invention significantly improves stability, acceleration and braking in slippery conditions – be it snow, rain or gravel. For example, tests on the Volvo FH Electric truck on a low friction surface with a loaded trailer showed ​a 45% improvement at full acceleration.​​

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.

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