Swiss truck builder and designer, Futuricum, and partners DPD Switzerland—an international shipping service—and tiremaker Continental have achieved the Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by an electric truck on a single charge. The record-setting vehicle, a modified Volvo unit, traveled 683 miles (1099 km) on a closed test track before running out of electrons.
For the three partners, the project aimed to show “that sustainable, energy-efficient and cost-efficient electric mobility in the transportation industry is not a mobility concept of tomorrow but is already a reality on European roads today.”
The Volvo e-truck broke the record on a 1.7-mile oval at the Contidrom, Continental’s in-house testing facility near Hanover, Germany. With a full charge, the truck set off to complete 392 laps in just over 23 hours. Two drivers piloted the Volvo prototype, each taking 4-and-a-half-hour shifts at an average speed of 31 miles per hour—a realistic value for a commercial truck operating on European roads.
However, a closed-track coasting experiment with no cargo weight is a far cry from the real-world stop-and-go driving conditions of a fully loaded delivery vehicle, which is how the Futuricum truck typically spends its time each day. The e-truck has been in regular use on Swiss roads since the early part of this year. During that time, it has had an all-electric single-charge driving range of around 250 miles, according to DPD Switzerland, the truck’s operator. This distance is more than adequate for a parcel delivery vehicle operating within a local geography.
“We decided to invest in electric mobility at an early stage,” said Marc Frank, director of strategy and innovation at DPD Switzerland, to Carscoops. “The Futuricum truck has been traveling between the depot in Möhlin near Basel to the distribution center in Buchs/Zurich for about six months now.”
On the tech spec side, Futuricum’s truck comes equipped with a 680-kWh lithium-ion battery, several times larger than the most potent batteries found in electric passenger vehicles (EVs). The total output is a heavy-duty 680 horsepower. Aside from providing the testing venue, Continental also outfitted the truck with low-rolling-resistance tires to help optimize range.
As Volvo helps illustrate the all-electric range potential of a commercial truck in Europe, the company is also making strides on the EV range front for passenger cars in the United States. According to recently published Environmental Protection Agency ratings, the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric crossover increases range and efficiency over the 2021 model. Although the carmaker has not confirmed the figures, the government agency reports a new range of 223 miles over the previous 208-mile figure. And the model’s new 85 MPGe combined efficiency rating is up from 79 MPGe.