Danfoss is putting nine Volvo electric trucks into service at its operations in Denmark. Volvo has delivered the first three of these heavy-duty line haul electric trucks (e-trucks), one of which will operate 24 hours a day, 5 days a week with limited charging time needed.
The trucks are equipped with technology from Danfoss' Editron division and are part of the company's efforts to reduce emissions from its operations. Danfoss states in its press release announcing delivery of the trucks that once they are fully implemented, the electric vehicles will reduce the company's scope 1 and 2 emissions in Denmark by 10-15%.
Because the trucks are electric powered, they will also provide next-to-zero noise and air pollution which will benefit the work environment for drivers and those in the surrounding area.
“The shift to electric vehicles is part of Danfoss’ commitment to become carbon neutral in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. With these new Volvo e-trucks, we add extra speed to the decarbonization of Danfoss’ operations. By transitioning our own fleet of transport vehicles to be fully electric, we want to demonstrate to our customers and other companies around the world that it’s challenging but not impossible to switch to electric transport vehicles and essential if you want to decarbonize your business,” said Torben Christensen, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Global Services, Danfoss.
How Danfoss Technology Aids Truck Electrification
Delivery of the electric trucks is part of a broader collaboration between the companies in which Danfoss is supplying components for use in electric-powered vehicles developed by Volvo Trucks. Both companies have a strong commitment to improving the sustainability of the transport sector through development of electric and other diesel alternative technologies.
The Danfoss Editron division was established to focus specifically on electrification solutions for a range of industries, including heavy truck, off-highway mobile — such as construction equipment — marine and others. Volvo Trucks and the broader Volvo Group also has a strong presence in the electrification space with several electric trucks now available in the market, especially in Europe, as well as electric construction equipment and the necessary drive components from the Volvo Penta brand.
As part of the partnership with Volvo Trucks, Danfoss Editron is providing the On-Board Charger and Electric Power Supply (OCEPS) to all electric trucks produced by the global OEM — including those being used by Danfoss. This technology enables fast overnight AC charging, helping trucks to quickly get back on the road to maintain productivity.
Per Danfoss, the OCEPS’ dual functionality provides 43 kW of power to charge a truck overnight (8-9 hours) while using readily available AC power outlets, reducing the amount of charging infrastructure required to keep electric trucks fully charged and operational. The company states in its press release that DC charging is faster and typically the preferred option, but AC power allows vehicles to plug directly into the utility grid. This increases the areas in which electric vehicles can charge without having to add infrastructure, often difficult in off-highway or other remote areas.
The Danfoss technology can also act as a 43 kW electric Power Take-Off (ePTO), enabling it to power the hydraulic and other work functions of off-highway machines such as excavators and wheel loaders.
Also included on Volvo e-trucks traction inverters from Semikron Danfoss, a business unit specializing in power electronics. In 2022, Danfoss Silicon Power announced its merger with SEMIKRON to build up focus on this technology segment as a way to meet the needs of the growing electrification space. The traction inverter is designed specifically for bus, construction, marine and truck applications, making it well suited for use in the electric vehicles from Volvo Trucks.
Rapid Charging Reduces Downtime
The nine electric trucks will operate on fixed routes between Danfoss' sites in Denmark. This is the first step in Danfoss transitioning its entire fleet to electric-powered options by 2030.
At each of the Danfoss sites, customized superchargers have been installed to allow for rapid charging during offloading and unloading. The company states this charging should take about 15 minutes, allowing for 24-hour operation of at least one of the e-trucks.
The shortness of the route between the Danfoss sites benefits continuous use of the electric trucks as well. Longer overnight charging will occur as needed on weekends when the trucks are not being used for business purposes.
As part of its efforts to reduce emissions from various aspects of its business, Danfoss has signed Power Purchase Agreements in Denmark to ensure a substantial part of the power supplied to the super chargers is sustainable.
Ensuring sustainability across all aspects of electric vehicle implementation is important to truly achieve the environmental benefits desired, and will be important aspects to keep in mind as electric vehicle uptake continues to grow.
Partnerships like this between Danfoss and Volvo Trucks can benefit market uptake as well by demonstrating electric vehicles' capabilities in real-world operations. Similar to Danfoss, Volvo has set its own targets not only for reducing emissions from its operations but also for the sale of electric trucks. Globally, the company is aiming for 50% of all new trucks sold to be battery or fuel cell electric by 2030.
“This is a true testament that collaboration across the sectors is necessary but also opens for fantastic opportunities. Danfoss is a supplier of critical components in the electrical trucks and it’s fantastic to see they are walking the talk and transforming their whole fleet to electric. We are so proud to have Danfoss as our partner and that we together take these so crucial steps towards zero emissions and show the world what can be done if you set your mind to it,” said Joakim Nilsson, Business Development Manager – Zero Emission, Volvo.