Gustav cycled behind a refuse truck for nine hours

Developing Volvo Trucks´ electromobility offering is sometimes hard work. We meet Gustav Carlsson, product owner for the electromobility simulation team at GTT, to find out more about the legwork that goes on behind the scenes
Gustav Carlsson
Gustav Carlsson

Is it true that you followed a refuse truck on a bicycle for an entire working day?
Yes, it´s true! I cycled behind a truck that belongs to one of our very first electromobility customers – Renova, the largest waste and recycling company in western Sweden.  

But why?
For the past three years, the GTT simulation team has logged routes and traffic conditions in order to collect as much data as possible for our very first electromobility customers. To do this we usually sit next to the driver with a smart phone to track the route. However, on this particular day, there were two drivers in the front seat so there was no room for me in the cab. So I decided to cycle instead!

Was there no other option?
I could have followed in a car, but as this was in the city centre of Gothenburg, with a lot of narrow and one-way streets, I wouldn´t have been able to go everywhere. Cycling was a much better option.

And how was it? 
Honestly, it was the best things I have ever done in my efforts to better understand our customers. And that's not just because I'm a passionate cyclist. I was able to follow the truck everywhere and when it stopped to pick up rubbish, I had an opportunity to talk to the drivers, who were happy to tell me about their work and specific needs.

Why is it so important to log truck routes?
The data we collect allows us to calculate energy consumption and optimize electric trucks, for example how many batteries a specific truck should have. And there is a lot to collect data about – we need to know how far they drive, what speed they reach, the weight of the loads, how many stops they make per shift, if the road is hilly or flat, and much more.

What do you do with all the data gathered? 
It goes into our simulation models, which are becoming more and more accurate. Later this year, Volvo Trucks will release a new sales tool for electric trucks. It combines our simulation data with real data that our customers have provided about their routes and transport needs – this will help show how to best optimize the trucks with the right number of batteries, and so on.

What is the best thing about working with electromobility? 
It is such a good feeling to work with something that will actually change the world for the better. Also, the competence and know-how we have within the Volvo group means that we can take a leading role in the transformation of the transport industry – and that feels fantastic!

This is how we work with electromobility in the Volvo Group

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