Renault will begin selling electric trucks in 2019 – it is going to be an exciting year!

Renault will begin selling electric trucks in 2019 – it is going to be an exciting year!

Truck electrification is beginning to reach its stride. Companies are in some sort of a race, which will result in a lot of new electric trucks being introduced next year. You‘ve heard of Tesla Semi, Cummins Aeos, Daimler and maybe even Volvo‘s plans to introduce new electric trucks in 2019. And now Renault is joining the crowd.

It would be easy to think that Tesla started this trend with its Semi – a super fast and efficient semi-truck, which can reach 97 km/h in just 20 seconds while pulling a heavy load. However, this impressive machine was not the first electric truck to be announced. For example, Daimler has been experimenting with electric technology in its trucks for quite some time already. The main focus of Daimler is different than the one Tesla. Daimler is looking forward to introduce electric urban delivery trucks, which are smaller and typically travel smaller distances every day. Cummins had a similar idea when it introduced its Aeos – a day cab semi-truck with a range of around 160 km.



It seems that this trend is here to stay. Numerous manufacturers proved that electric heavy duty trucks are actually possible. Furthermore, they can be relatively affordable and easy to live with. If everything works as expected, Tesla Semi might actually be one of the most reliable semi-trucks in the market. Meanwhile big current manufacturers were not so vocal about their plans to start production of electric trucks.

Tesla Semi is probably the single favourite electric truck in general population. (Tesla’s picture)

Have you heard about electric trucks from Scania, MAN, Peterbilt and other giants of the truck industry? No. While there are certainly some plans, they are not developed to the stage of Tesla Semi or Cummins Aeos or even Nikola One. This new segment is up for grabs for the new players. However, some interesting projects are already coming from the well-known truck manufacturers.

Volvo Trucks has announced that it will introduce an electric urban distribution truck in 2019. While long haul machines are certainly in the plans, Volvo believes that city operations is where the electric trucks could thrive. In fact, Volvo said that electric urban distribution trucks could even work at night, helping to reduce city noise and congestion. And now finally we heard from Renault.

Cummins is a famous manufacturer of heavy-duty engines, but its Cummins Aeos truck is going to be one of the first urban delivery semi-trucks on the market (Cummins’ picture)

Renault Trucks has just announced that it will launch a new electric truck range in 2019. Pretty much at the same time when many other companies are going to introduce their first electric trucks – it is going to be an interesting year. However, Renault is not just following current trends. This company has been experimenting with electric technology since 2009, so it is about time to introduce some products into the market. For now the range will consist of urban and peri-urban delivery trucks. They are unlikely to feature such an extreme design like Tesla Semi or Nikola One. The reason is that smaller trucks do not have such big cabins, so there is not much room for extravagant design opportunities. However, we do expect some rounded corners, lack of big grill and some interesting paint schemes.

Renault has been experimenting with electric trucks since 2009 (picture of Renault Trucks)

So let’s see what we have. Daimler is preparing electric urban delivery trucks for intercity operations, Volvo is focusing on urban delivery and Renault is going to do a little bit of both. None of the major truck manufacturers in this article are preparing big semi-trucks, not even with day cabs. What does that mean?

It simply means that the old, trusted brands are letting new players to take on this market segment. They can jump on-board at any point they want, but for now they will just sit back and look how new manufacturers are going to do. Who knows, maybe smaller urban delivery trucks is actually a smarter step to this new age of electric trucking.


Volvo says that electric trucks will not only be eco-friendly, but will also help fighting traffic jams

Volvo says that electric trucks will not only be eco-friendly, but will also help fighting traffic jams

The future of transportation is in the hands of electric trucks. They will be fast, they will be powerful and they will be efficient. And they will be here next year. Tesla Semi should reach its buyers sometime in 2019. Cummins and Daimler are both preparing electric trucks of different category to enter the market next year and now Volvo is saying it has something in its sleeve too. And it should reduce traffic jams.

How can an electric truck – literally just another vehicle on the street – help fighting congestion in city centres? Volvo Trucks reminds us that many cities now have strict regulation against noise pollution. This means that trucks have to operate during the busiest hours of the day. And that is a problem.



According to Volvo that because electric trucks will be much quieter, they will be able to roam streets at late evenings and at night. This will reduce the number of delivery trucks on the street during rush hours. Electric trucks will also be able to reach areas where conventional diesel trucks are simply not allowed to go due to noise and pollution regulations.

A study, conducted in Stockholm city, revealed that trucks operating off peak traffic hours managed to cut the delivery time by 66 %. These trucks can also be slightly bigger, since they will not have to navigate the daily rush hour traffic. A simple delivery truck can carry ten times as much cargo as the vans commonly used today. This means less trips and more effective utilization of road network.

We still haven’t seen how Volvo’s electric trucks will look like, but the first step will be urban delivery.(Volvo Trucks)

People who live in the city will benefit too from reduction of noise and cleaner air. World Health Organization estimates that by 2030 more than 60 % of world’s population will live in urban areas. In just 12 years from now cities of the world will grow by a billion people. This will cause increase in traffic problems, which are already pretty bad. It is estimated that in EU alone congestion and related traffic problems cost about a 100 billion euros per year.

Therefore, Volvo is going to start selling urban distribution trucks in Europe next year. However, initial testing with selected reference customers is already going to start this year.

Jonas Odermalm, Head of product strategy medium duty vehicles at Volvo Trucks, said: “Our technology and knowhow within electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already in use on Volvo’s electric buses, and solutions that were introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010. The vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures”. Issues regarding infrastructure are going to be discussed with cities and customers, in order to prepare the network for sustainable electric truck operations.



Also read:

Electric trucks from a 100 years ago;

Gas-powered trucks are already available and in theory can be CO2 neutral;

Scammel Scarab – it is not your ordinary semi-truck – it is the mechanical horse;

General Motors Bison – a vision of trucks of the future from 1964. Why didn’t it stick?

How a truck with a combustion engine can be CO2 neutral? (Video)

How a truck with a combustion engine can be CO2 neutral? (Video)

The world is moving towards electric vehicles. Electric cars are not even drawing attention in the streets anymore, and now several companies are pushing for electric trucks too. They will be silent, cheap to run and yet very expensive. But are there any other green alternatives? Old-school truck manufacturers are already offering CO2 neutral solutions that are ready to go right here, right now.



Gas-powered trucks are not a new thing. However, with improvements in infrastructure several companies are introducing new models, marketing them as a more approachable way to eco-friendly trucking. For example, Volvo introduced new FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG models that can run using biogas and liquefied natural gas. Interestingly, in terms of technology these trucks do not follow the path of older gas-powered trucks.

Volvo’s LNG engine does not use the OTTO cycle – the conventional diesel engine cycle allows keeping the same performance. (Volvo Trucks)

While most of gas-powered trucks use OTTO cycle, Volvo opted to stay with the usual diesel engine configuration. This allowed maintaining power and torque – 460 HP engine, producing 2300 Nm, makes the same figures in diesel-powered trucks. However, LNG trucks are much MUCH cleaner.

Filling up gap-powered trucks is relatively quick and you can cover a 1000 km on full tanks. (Volvo Trucks)

Volvo says that its LNG trucks will emit at least 20 % less CO2 to the atmosphere. However, this percentage in some way can go up to a 100, if the biogas is used. In that case trucks still do emit CO2, but it is essentially neutral in a way, because that CO2 was absorbed before producing the gas. In other words, no new CO2 is introduced to the environment. But Volvo is not the only manufacturer that had this idea.

Video about Volvo’s LNG trucks:

 

Scania introduced its new gas-powered truck engine virtually at the same time as Volvo. However, the 12.7 litre engine, called OC13, is using the OTTO cycle, which makes it extremely reliable. It is a little less powerful – makes 410 HP and 2000 Nm of torque. However, servicing is done less frequently and it can run on both LNG and CNG. Scania says that it emits at least 15 % less CO2 that diesel equivalents, but the impact on the environment is mostly decided by what type of gas is used. Biogas is virtually clean, considering the complete cycle.

Meanwhile Scania’s OC13 does use the OTTO cycle, but that translates into less frequent servicing and a more robust engine. (Scania)

Both of these engines will allow trucks to cover more than a 1000 km on full tanks – none of the electric trucks are promising such range on a single charge. Ant they are cheaper, and they are available now.

Finally, gas-powered trucks are much quieter than diesel counterparts, which is important because some urban areas already have some strict noise polution regulations. Gas-powered trucks may not replace electric trucks, but it is always good to have alternatives until electric powertrains become industry standard.



More reads about trucks:

Refuse handling and cleaning runways – two interesting applications for autonomous technologies;

How does a 100 year old electric truck look like?

Autonomous trucks are here? A couple of truck manufacturers are testing interesting applications for self-driving trucks (Video)

Autonomous trucks are here? A couple of truck manufacturers are testing interesting applications for self-driving trucks (Video)

Everyone knows two things about the future of transportation – all vehicles will be electric and fully autonomous. Major car manufacturers are making steps towards that direction – some cars already have advanced self-driving systems. But what about trucks? Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are testing two very interesting applications for autonomous trucks.

Obviously, in the future most trucks are going to be self-driving. And it is for the better – goods will be transported more efficiently, environment is going to be damaged a little less and roads will be just that little bit safer. However, we don’t have this technology available now, but Volvo and Mercedes is seeing opportunities to improve working conditions of the drivers using advanced autonomous tech.



For example, Volvo is testing autonomous refuse handling trucks in Sweden. However, they do not always drive themselves. In fact, the first visit in the new area is to train the system. Various radars and sensors, situated around the refuse truck, scan the new area and computer memorizes the route. When the truck comes to the same place for the second time, the driver just steps out of the truck by the first house and goes to deal with the garbage containers. The truck will then proceed to reverse to other houses where containers need to be emptied. The driver will simply walk in front of the truck the whole time, ensuring that the system is not going to cause an accident.

Volvo refuse truck drives backwards, avoiding all the obstacles using a system of radars and sensors. (Volvo Trucks)

Volvo Trucks says that autonomous refuse trucks like this will save time and prevent workplace injuries. Drivers will not have to climb in and out of the truck all the time, which will make their job a little easier. Meanwhile, trucks will be able to drive around parked cars and will even avoid unexpected obstacles. If something does happen out of the ordinary, the driver can always use the exterior-mounted panel to stop the autonomous operation. The system is already being tested in Sweden and seems to work very well.

Refuse handling trucks should be autonomous. Now drivers struggle to manoeuvre through tiny streets, usually filled with parked cars. If they want to reverse safely, they need a second worker to go behind them and give directions. And then there is that exhausting climbing in and out of the truck by every house.

How Volvo’s autonomous refuse truck works

 

Meanwhile Daimler is seeing another area where autonomous trucks could bring substantial benefits – clearing snow from runways. Every winter causes trouble in many airports and snow has to be cleared often. This causes delays and even cancelled flights. When weather is unpredictable, truck drivers have to stay waiting for the call, which sometimes doesn’t come. On other occasions they are so busy that they simply cannot keep up with the snow. Solution – an autonomous convoy.

4 Mercedes-Benz trucks can clean the runway at the same time and only one driver is needed (Mercedes-Benz pic.)

Mercedes already tested 4 Arocs trucks convoy. These snow clearing trucks were equipped with Remote Truck Interface technology. This means that only one driver is needed to control the entire convoy. He drives one of the trucks (all of them are the same) and other ones follow. He can adjust their path in the screen in his cabin. Mercedes says that this works much faster than the current methods, especially if you expand the convoy – there could be up to 14 trucks controlled by a single driver.

GPS and a number of different sensors ensure that trucks maintain the proper line. This is very important, because now human driver commonly damage runway lights and markings – it is unavoidable in blizzard conditions with very poor visibility. It is obvious that it would be much quicker and more effective without human drivers, because computers always make trucks follow the most efficient line and maintain a proper distance from the truck driving in front. The operator could also engage attachments from his own cabin and adjust each truck individually. The same technology could be employed in other areas too.

Mercedes-Benz automated convoy testing

 

But what truck drivers will think about these advancements? It seems like autonomous vehicles are ready to take over many fields at any moment, but it is unlikely that drivers will start losing their jobs in favour of autonomous technology any time soon – their expertise will remain needed for a long time.



5 weird and funny car commercials of the past: Volvo’s sexism, wheels of Enzo Ferrari and the legendary E30 (Video)

5 weird and funny car commercials of the past: Volvo’s sexism, wheels of Enzo Ferrari and the legendary E30 (Video)

Why do we like vintage car commercials so much? Couple of decades ago art of visual effects and videography was not where it is now. Therefore, creators had to use different approach to make their clips interesting and dynamic. While car commercials of today are definitely cool, we like to look back at how some already classic cars used to be advertised. So that is what we are doing here today – we present you 5 interesting car commercials from the past.

This article is part of the series we have going on about old car commercials, you can find the entire list of articles at the very bottom of this one. Meanwhile today we are looking at how BMW E30, Volvo 145, Toyota pickup trucks, Fiat 128 and were advertised.



There is no denying that we love E30. We are following one restoration project and we’ve already covered 7 interesting facts about this car. However, while now it is gaining its classic status, back in a day it was just another car on the market. This is kind of a lengthy, but it is full of good stuff. For starts, there is a nice example of old commercial weirdness – some boats and 80’s graphics.

If you watched entire clip, you really saw everything. Nice convertible, fast M3 and, of course, an off-roading scene on the snow. By the way, if you like E30, here you can read 7 interesting facts about this famous BMW.

There is no denying that today the world is more about equality than ever. Back in a day a little bit of sexism didn’t really bother anyone. This Volvo 145 commercial is a perfect example of how different the world was back in a way.

To be completely honest, we have to admit that this was the lifestyle of choice in those days. And both men and women struggled with those massive estate cars. Comparably tiny Volvo 145 looks so refreshing squeezed in between those American monsters.

Ford F150 is the most popular car in USA. In fact, pickup trucks are immensely popular throughout the country. Of course, American manufacturers are dominating the market, but Toyota is not humble about its presence either. This is how it introduced its new line in 1985.

You can see how competitor trucks are standing on their back axles from… shock, maybe? Regardless, Toyota makes pretty much the finest pickups on the market – they are extremely reliable, unbeatable off-road and full of technology.




“When it comes to cars, you can’t fool the Ferrari” – a funny ad for a humble Fiat 128. Enzo Ferrari is a legendary name in automotive business, who founded the coolest brand in the world. However, according to this commercial, Mr. Ferrari himself used different cars for his own commute.

Enzo Ferrari drove many cars throughout his lifetime and Fiat 128 is actually not that weird. However, we don’t thing Ferrari drew a lot of inspiration from humble Fiats when creating his own masterpieces.

Finally, just look at how dreamy Mazda Miata (MX-5) commercial was. This little sports car is probably the most optimistic vehicle on the road and it seems like people behind this clip grasped its character very well. Just take a look.

Mazda MX-5 is the most popular sports car in the world. We are starting to think – maybe it is time that NODUM buys one…

These were all commercials we had for this time. Are there any vintage car commercials YOU would include into our list?



If you enjoy vintage car commercials, we offer two other parts of this series:

In the first article we showed creative clips about Ford Model T, classic MINI, SAAB 900 Turbo, first generation Volkswagen Golf GTI and Lada Niva

In the second we took a look at how Audi 100, Golf MkII, Volkswagen Passat, Opel Calibra and Fiat Multipla were advertised;

And in the third we watched M5 (E39), Porsche, Ford Mustang, Mercedes-Benz and Lambroghini commercials.

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