Volvo LIGHTS expands electric truck charging options

Volvo Trucks North America has expanded its charging options for fleet operators in collaboration with key suppliers participating in the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project. REMA EV Connections Gmbh, Rheinbach, Germany, a charging connector provider, has secured UL certification for its Combined Charging System CCS2 connector, reports.

Volvo LIGHTS is a collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and 13 other organizations to develop a blueprint that successfully introduces battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale. The project, taking place in Southern California, is demonstrating a range of strategies to provide flexible and cost-effective charging options to commercial fleet operators.

“The CCS2 UL-certification will give fleets more charging options and greater flexibility for integrating battery-electric vehicles into their fleets in a very nascent marketspace,” said Keith Brandis, vice president of partnerships and strategic solutions at Volvo Group. “As part of the innovative Volvo LIGHTS project, our team was happy to collaborate with ABB and REMA to accelerate the UL certification of the CCS2 connector, which will be used to charge Volvo’s pilot VNR Electric trucks.”

While the CCS2 connector is not new to the global transportation market, it is new to North America. To date, the Combined Charging System CCS1 connector has been prevalent in North America, while CCS2 has been prevalent throughout the rest of the world—including Europe, Australia, South America, Africa, and Asia. The UL certification indicates that a nationally recognized testing laboratory has verified that CCS2 connectors meet North American safety standards, which enables fleet operators to purchase these fast charging systems directly from suppliers—including Volvo LIGHTS vendor, ABB—and not have to go through a complex field certification process after the chargers are installed. Additionally, it paves the way for utilities and other agencies to expand their list of approved charging options for electric vehicle fleet infrastructure programs.

ABB has been tapped as the preferred charging hardware provider for the Volvo LIGHTS project and is installing a mix of high voltage-capable public and private electric vehicle chargers that utilize REMA’s CCS2 connectors, including the Terra 54HV (50 kW) and the HVC 150 Depot Box (150 kW).

“Flexibility is the key to success in a dynamic industry like fleet electrification,” said Bob Stojanovic, director of EV infrastructure for ABB North America. “As the first charger manufacturer to offer multi-standard EV chargers, ABB was ready to support this initiative with safe, reliable charging solutions. We look forward to being able to deliver UL-certified CCS2 charging systems to fleet operators in North America.”

Volvo LIGHTS project partner, Southern California Edison (SCE), is the utility for the region where Volvo’s pilot VNR Electric trucks will be demonstrated by local fleet operators over the next several months. Following the CCS2 UL certification, SCE was able to officially add the ABB CCS2 chargers being used in the Volvo LIGHTS project—the Terra 54 HV and HVC-150–to the list of approved charging equipment for its Charge Ready Transport EV charging infrastructure program for medium- and heavy-duty fleets.

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