Volvo FM Electric Spotted Fast Charging At Ionity: 243 kW At 89% SOC

Here is an interesting finding from Norway, where a Volvo FM Electric semi-truck was spotted at an Ionity fast-charging station. The Volvo FM Electric is one of three upcoming models from Volvo Trucks. It's scheduled for series production starting in the second half of 2022. Fleets in Europe can already place orders for the vehicles (FH, FM and FMX), which are available with battery packs of 180-540 kWh.

The FM Electric is expected to go up to 380 km (236 miles) on a single charge. Speaking of charging, as we can see in the video, this early unit of the Volvo FM Electric was charging at pretty high power (in relation to electric cars), even at a high state-of-charge (SOC):

  • 242 kW at 86% SOC
    89 kWh delivered in 23 minutes: average of 232 kW
  • 243 kW at 89% SOC
  • 205 kW at 94% SOC
    125 kWh delivered in 32 minutes: average of 234 kW

The key is of course the size of the battery. If it's 400-450 kWh (estimated using the difference between 86% and 94%), it's actually not a very high load on the cells - far below 1C.

We guess that the entire session was above 50% SOC, so we can't really expect the peak values. According to the video, the driver said that he is getting up to 350 kW at the depot, which indicates that there is a 350 kW CCS2 charger. Volvo Trucks said that at 250 kW, the new FH, FM and FMX Electric trucks should be ready to go in 2.5 hours.

A separate thing is parking at fast-charging stations that are envisioned for cars. It might be even more complicated than in the case of a car with a trailer because a truck like this is basically the largest standard vehicle that you can legally use in Europe. There are no specific fast-charging stations for trucks and buses yet in Europe, so the fleets currently must rely on depots and general charging stations from time to time.

The good news is that the new Megawatt Charging System (MCS) standard is just around the corner.

In 2021, three major European commercial vehicle manufacturers - Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Volkswagen Group's Traton Group (Scania and MAN brands) have signed a binding agreement to create a joint venture charging network, which means that charging infrastructure is coming too.