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Volvo Financial Services Awarded $3.9MM for Innovative Zero-Emission Financing Project

April 14, 2021, 07:10 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

The Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC), a committee of California’s largest transportation and clean air agencies and stakeholders, has awarded Volvo Financial Services (VFS) over $3.9 million dollars to help fund the deployment of 14 Volvo VNR Electric trucks and charging equipment through its Inland Ports Program.

The trucks, manufactured by Volvo Trucks North America, represent the largest single purchasing commitment of Volvo VNR Electric trucks to date, and will begin operating this fall in last-mile delivery routes for national food service logistics supplier Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) in Fontana, CA. Combined with MSRC grant funds, the VFS leases provided through the program will reduce QCD’s total cost of operating the electric vehicles, making the trucks cost-competitive with existing diesel technology.

“Volvo Financial Services is committed to finding unique solutions to help make battery-electric vehicles more cost effective and accessible for our customers,” said Christopher Roback, Vice President, Sales and Customer Experience, Volvo Financial Services, and project lead. “We are excited to work with the project team and MSRC to successfully deploy Volvo’s VNR Electric trucks and the required charging infrastructure in this project.”

VFS provides innovative products and services that help customers achieve their business goals. Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, and to further support the commercial availability of the Volvo VNR Electric, VFS has developed new vehicle leases and charging infrastructure financing solutions that reduce the barriers fleet customers can encounter when switching to zero-emission technologies.

Volvo Trucks North America is among the first major truck manufacturers in the U.S. to commercialize and sell battery-electric Class 8 trucks. The company began taking customer orders for its VNR Electric model last December and has multiple customer deliveries scheduled throughout 2021. With this purchase, Volvo Trucks now has orders for more than 100 VNR Electric models scheduled to be delivered and deployed in fleet operations throughout California over the next two years.

“We are excited to be recognized by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee and have the opportunity to collaborate with our long-time fleet partner, QCD, on this milestone project," said Peter Voorhoeve, President, Volvo Trucks North America. "Volvo Trucks continues to lead the industry in scaling electromobility solutions and putting heavy-duty battery-electric trucks, and the tools to service and support them, into commercial fleet operations in North America."

In conjunction with the launch of the Volvo VNR Electric, Volvo Trucks introduced the Volvo Gold Contract, its most advanced service contract available, specifically designed to provide peace of mind to new electric truck owners. Incorporating maintenance, towing, uptime services, and full coverage of major components, the Volvo Gold Contract offered with Volvo VNR Electric is the first service contract of its kind from Volvo Trucks North America.

By providing valuable insights into the trucks’ operational performance and charging requirements, the Inland Ports Program will provide a roadmap and valuable lessons-learned for how retail distribution fleets can successfully invest in battery-electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Through the Volvo LIGHTS project, QCD recently took delivery of its first Volvo VNR Electric truck. With this additional order, QCD’s total fleet of VNR Electric trucks will reach 15 by the end of 2022. QCD, a Golden State Foods (GSF) company, provides custom distribution services to thousands of America’s most iconic restaurants and currently operates a fleet of 700 Class 8 tractors, more than half of which are Volvo VNR and VNL models. GSF is one of the world’s largest diversified suppliers to the food service and retail industries.

“The experience gained from this program will help accelerate battery-electric truck adoption in QCD’s fleet, as well as other last-mile delivery fleets,” said Mike Douglas, Senior Director Of Strategic Procurement, QCD. “We are excited to partner with Volvo Financial Services to put these Volvo VNR Electrics to work and begin reducing emissions throughout the region.”

Through the project, a total of $37.2 million in MSRC funding is available to assist fleet owners in the Inland Empire in their transition to zero- or near-zero emission goods movement, helping to improve air quality for the region. Since 1990, the MSRC has invested more than $400 million in hundreds of clean transportation initiatives that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles throughout the South Coast basin.

“The funding the MSRC is providing is an essential investment in the air quality and health of all residents in the South Coast basin, and specifically for Inland Empire residents,” said Larry McCallon, MSRC Chair. “Now that the technology exists to help green our local goods movement, we are thrilled to be able to help QCD, through Volvo Trucks and VFS, make this historic transition to cleaner vehicles.”

Along with project partners VFS, Volvo Trucks North America, and QCD, industry-leading electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider Greenlots will design and install eight high-power charging stations at QCD’s Fontana distribution center to power the Volvo VNR Electric trucks. Learnings from the deployment of the first VNR Electric models and charging infrastructure will provide QCD the valuable information needed to expand its fleet of zero-emission trucks.

"Volvo Trucks and VFS continue to pave the way for truck electrification," said Andreas Lips, Chief Executive Officer of Greenlots. "Greenlots is proud to support these efforts with fast-charging solutions and data services that continue to innovate and improve electric vehicle charging for the fleet industry."

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