Sound of silence
Driver Johan Söderlund had an important mission: to test-drive the new electric truck. And yes, there were many skeptics at Årsta Lastbil, Stockholm. For one thing, what if the battery died? Three months later, everyone agrees: electric trucks are the future!
Despite the ongoing battle against climate change, there are still very few heavy electric trucks on the roads. The main reasons are that they are expensive, have a limited range and the charging infrastructure is underdeveloped. But to achieve PostNord’s goal of fossil-free transport by 2030, it’s time to move up a gear. That’s why the new electric truck Scania BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has been trialed in Stockholm since February 2022 in a collaboration with pharmacy chain Apotek Hjärtat.
The route involves a daily driving distance of 140 kilometers to 18 different pharmacies in central and southern Stockholm and nearby Södertälje. It’s quite a route, since driving to Södertälje means 111 speedy kilometers on the highway. Would the electric truck hold up? Could the battery cope with the challenge?
No need to worry, according to Johan Söderlund who did the driving during the trial.
“We’ve never run out of battery! The truck can run 200 kilometers on a full battery under optimal conditions, and we have adjusted the routes due to the limited mileage.”
How long the battery lasts also depends on how heavy the load is and what the weather is like, since pharmacy products must be transported in a temperature-controlled cabinet and the heating and cool-ing system uses a lot of battery. Thanks to a powerful charging station, the battery can be fully charged in two hours flat.
“Not having to refuel the truck saves a lot of time. We can also load it twice as heavy as a standard truck,” Johan says.
Of course, the fact that the fossil-free truck is environmentally friendly is crucial. But the best thing about the electric truck from a driver’s perspective is the smooth and silent driving.
“The first time it felt so strange, because when you turn the key, you hardly hear anything. I was even unsure whether the truck had started or not – that’s how quiet it is compared to rumbling diesel trucks. All you hear is the sound of the wind and the wheels spinning against the asphalt,” Johan explains.
Still, it reacts really quickly when you step on the accelerator pedal. Another great advantage is that it neither gives off exhaust fumes nor makes noise, which enables deliveries at odd hours without disturbing anyone in densely populated areas. Two more electric Volvo trucks are now to join the fleet.
“I think diesel vehicles will be phased out. We are moving towards a greener era,” Johan says.
Name: Johan Söderlund
Position: Driver, Segeltorp, Sweden
Closest colleagues: Shift colleagues Guven Yildiz, Mengesha Melku, Bereket Habtu and Margaretha Norén
At PostNord since: 1990.
Volvo Scania BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)
Range capacity: 200 kilometers
Battery charge time: 2 hours
Loading capacity: 18 pallets
Max load weight: 15,365 kg (a diesel truck’s 8,900 kg)