DHL Freight, one of Europe’s leading road freight providers, and Volvo Trucks are collaborating on a project to speed up the introduction of heavy-duty electric trucks for regional transport across Europe.

The main use of electric trucks to date has been short journeys within cities and urban areas, but the cooperation includes pilot tests of a fully electric Volvo FH truck with gross combination weights up to 60 tons. The DHL-Volvo project will start in the first quarter of 2021, and is part of REEL, an initiative run by Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova to promote the transition to an electrified freight transport system.

The trial route runs between the Gothenburg and Jönköping, a distance of 150 km. Charging will be done at DHL in Jönköping and the Volvo Truck Centre in Gothenburg.

During the trial, Volvo and DHL will gain information regarding the setup and operation of necessary charging infrastructure. The collected insights will help to optimize the right balance between operated distance, load weight and charging points in daily road freight operations.

DHL says sustainability is an integral part of the company’s strategy. “Our aim is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero. Important milestones have already been achieved in meeting this: compared to 2007, our Group’s CO2 efficiency has improved by 35%. However, we need innovative technological solutions and strong partnerships. I’m confident that our cooperation with Volvo Trucks will support us in achieving our ambitious environmental goals in the road freight sector,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO at DHL Freight.

Roger Alm, President at Volvo Trucks adds, “The transport business is changing rapidly and to be sustainable is an increasingly important business advantage for many of our customers. Our commitment is that our entire truck sales range will be fossil-free by 2040 at the latest.”

DHL Freight has introduced a climate-focused levy in Sweden. Customers who opt into the program pay a fixed surcharge for every parcel or pallet shipped and the income generated is fully invested in clean technologies within the Swedish network.