American startup company WattEV has placed an order for 50 Volvo VNR Electric trucks to launch its unique Truck-as-a-Service (TaaS) model in California. WattEV’s TaaS model provides shippers and carriers access to battery-electric trucks at a per-mile rate, including charging, that is on par with the total cost of operating diesel trucks.
Over the next several months, the Volvo VNR Electric trucks will begin operating on routes between California’s San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire, and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
“Volvo Trucks applauds WattEV’s unique approach to accelerating fleet electrification through its TaaS model, which aims to remove potential barriers to adoption so that fleets of all sizes can get access to electric Class 8 trucks and perform local and regional delivery with zero-tailpipe emissions,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This type of innovative thinking is necessary to transform how the industry transports freight, and we look forward to collaborating with WattEV as they scale their TaaS fleet across California and the nation.”
To support its TaaS model, WattEV is building a public network of heavy-duty battery-electric truck charging depots to service major transportation corridors, connecting shipping ports with freight distribution centers and warehouse locations. WattEV’s first public truck charging depots will be in Bakersfield, San Bernardino, and near the Port of Long Beach, and will feature 250 kW CCS chargers that will provide the Volvo VNR Electric trucks an 80% charge in 90 minutes for the six-battery packs. As WattEV’s public charging network expands nationwide, the company plans to scale its depots to provide 1.2 MW charging capability for ultra-fast charging.
“WattEV is thrilled to purchase our first battery-electric Class 8 trucks from Volvo Trucks as they quickly scale their electric truck supply and dealer support network across the nation,” said Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO, WattEV. “We are grateful to partner with an OEM that shares the same commitment to freight electrification throughout North America.”
Volvo Trucks is focused on supporting customers in their electromobility transition by expanding its network of Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealerships, where service teams are trained and equipped to safely perform battery-electric truck maintenance and repairs, and key VNR Electric parts are stocked to minimize downtime. Volvo Trucks currently has certified dealers in the U.S. in California, New York, and Virginia, as well as in Quebec, Canada, with dealerships in several additional states finalizing their certifications throughout 2022. WattEV’s Volvo VNR Electric order was facilitated by TEC Equipment Fontana, which was the first Volvo Certified EV Dealer in the nation and offers onsite charging for its customers.
“It is rewarding to see the momentum building for battery-electric truck adoption, and TEC Equipment is committed to continue supporting fleets like WattEV with their electric truck procurement plans, including identifying and securing incentive funding,” said David Thompson, founder and CEO of TEC Equipment in reference to his team’s support helping WattEV secure vouchers from California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).