When asked which sort of trucks will be on the roads in five to ten years, he shared his conviction that there will be electric vehicles for long distances in all regions. Yet, he believes that there will not be a “fix all” solution, but instead a variety of technologies will be available and in use. Willing to be provocative, he added that the combustion engine will survive, and Volvo Group will keep investing in the technology. He explained that contrary to common beliefs, the combustion engine does not equal fossil fuels – it is in fact versatile and can run with different fuels, including hydrogen. Against this background, the number of electric vehicles will undoubtedly increase. Some networks and dedicated fleets will be electrified.
Regarding Volvo Groups’s work in terms of electric vehicles for long distances, Mr. Stenqvist answered that the company is investing in the technology. Since 2013 it develops city buses which are either hybrid or fully electric. Although he admitted that this decision was made slightly too early, he stated that in terms of knowledge – how to charge, discharge and get the best performance from a vehicle – the experience was certainly valuable. Following the development of hybrid and electric city buses, Volvo Group is now working on urban trucks, and electric construction machines as well as other equipment which are potentially in the pipeline.
Mr. Stenqvist further pointed out that we are now facing a “chicken and egg situation” – in other words, electric trucks are ready, but whether customers will be ready to invest is the main question. He believes that there will be a business case to build charging points, and that politicians will have an essential role to play in this context.