Volvo Trucks’ Alm Maps Out Strategies to Meet Net Zero Carbon at ACT Expo

May 20, 2024

Decarbonization of the transportation sector is always on the agenda in more ways than one at ACT Expo, and keynote speaker Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks, was not one to shy away from it during his presentation on the opening day of the 2024 event.

“This is our biggest challenge ever, both to meet this demand and to reduce emissions,” said Alm. “I’m convinced that we can do this by working together. It all starts with realizing the problem and then [committing] to huge changes ­– the Volvo group has committed to huge changes.”

Echoing an earlier charge from Volvo Trucks to only produce zero-emission trucks starting in 2040, Alm went on to predict a 40% reduction in CO2 by 2030, a transformation that will look differently depending on which part of the world you are discussing.

“The customers will have different situations and different solutions. We believe three technologies are needed to reach net zero: battery electric, fuel cell electric, and combustion engines running on renewable fuels,” he added.

Focusing on the internal combustion engine, Alm pointed to the fact that this technology has evolved to offer “massive fuel reductions,” stating the industry needs “to stop burning fossil fuel and switch to renewable fuels.” He also pointed to advancements in hydrogen as an option to further reduce emissions, but then emphasized that battery-electric trucks are the main solution to reach the industry’s goal of zero emissions.

“We are continuing to make big steps to accelerate our electric development. We have a leading position in electrical truck market, with a market share of 44% in the United States.”

Alm then turned his attention to vehicle charging infrastructure, calling on the public and private sector to invest and build an increasing number of necessary charging stations to power the growing number of battery-electric vehicles. The development of green energy solutions and availability of federal incentives were also highlighted as necessary to making this move to net zero a reality.

Efficiency, a concept all fleets strive for, become a point of order as well, with Alm describing a scenario the OEM is testing to get the most out of their electric trucks.

“Imagine if we could increase the efficiency and utilize the trucks full potential. There are some interesting ways to address the problem of transport inefficiency,” explained Alem, pointing to a method that Vovlo is testing that involves splitting up longer distance routes into shorter legs. “It involves creating loops for the trucks to swap trailers at the charging stations where they be then returned back to the starting point again. This makes it possible to work with more shifts and to utilize the electric truck more efficient.”

Later that evening, Volvo announced the creation of Volvo on Demand, a new Truck-as-a-Service (TaaS) business model for fleets looking to electrify their operations.