The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has used an electric heavy truck from Swiss boutique manufacturer Designwerk to clear snow for the first time. Thanks to the 1,000 kWh battery capacity, the truck was able to complete a full day’s plowing work with ease.
Designwerk is a small, Swiss-based manufacturer of custom electric trucks. It’s partially owned by Volvo Trucks and, therefore, uses mainly its models as a foundation, but the batteries and drivetrains are designed in-house. Designwerk offers e-trucks with up to 1,000 kWh of battery capacity, which is much more than what Volvo can offer and allows up to 760 km of range per charge.
1,000 kWh snow plow
However, this large battery pack can be used for more than just long-haul transport. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has proved this by entering a Designwerk e-truck (based on a Volvo FH chassis) into snow plow duty, clearing the E6 highway over the Dovrefjell mountain range for just over a week now.
And it seems the electric truck is up to the task. Thanks to its generous battery capacity, it can complete a 9-hour day using just over 60% of its charge, with a consumption of around 182 kWh per 100 km – although clearing snow is, of course, not the quickest or most efficient way of driving.
Electrification of the niche
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration also wants to see how electric trucks handle harsh weather and how they can best charge it. “If we are to achieve the climate targets, we must have strong emission cuts also on the heaviest tasks we do on the roads today”, says Bjørn Laksforsmo, divisional director at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
To recall, Norway is one of the, if not the most advanced country in terms of electrification of its vehicle fleet. The large majority of its new car sales is electric, and it has also set a 2030 target for 100% zero-emission trucks, although specific use cases such as snow plows may have some more time to make the transition.