Volvo Trucks Ghent is going to build batteries for all of...

Volvo Trucks Ghent is going to build batteries for all of...
Volvo Trucks Ghent is going to build batteries for all of...

The Ghent truck builder Volvo Trucks will assemble batteries for the electric models. A multi-million investment, the details of which have yet to be worked out, even though the decision is important for anchoring and employment in the region. Batteries will be built for all European locations in the Ghent production halls, the management announces on Wednesday.

Volvo Trucks wants to market more electric trucks in the long term. Today, medium-duty trucks are already being built abroad. But in the future, heavy trucks, the classic variant of which is built in Ghent, will also be electrified. This means that the manufacturer will also have to put together heavy batteries.

This production process requires expertise and a large financial investment, although it is not yet clear what amount is involved on Wednesday. The employment associated with it is also still unknown. The decision in principle has been taken, which means that a working group will draw up a process to take the step. “After all, with this investment we bring a completely new technology into our factory,” says director Koen Knippenberg.

At the beginning of this year, Volvo Cars’ Ghent factory also opened a battery factory for electric passenger vehicles. This investment of some 150 million euros also required a thorough training program for staff. The investment at Volvo Trucks will probably not be of the same magnitude. The company is building fewer units and has no ambition to switch completely to electric vehicles.

Although the announcement is a boost for the management and staff of Volvo Trucks, which employs more than 2,500 people in our country. “This decision is good news for the further anchoring of Volvo Trucks in Ghent,” says Knippenberg. He sees the factory’s central logistics location as an asset that played a role in the decision.

“The production of the battery packs is a new activity that we will start in Ghent, comparable to the introduction of the Volvo Fitting Center in 2008, a fully independent department next to the assembly activities.” The Ghent Volvo truck factory will build the battery packs for all of Volvo Group’s European truck factories.

In the coming years, Volvo Trucks will further electrify the range. To this end, an alliance has been concluded with manufacturer Samsung SDI, which will supply the modules. As a first step, Swedish Powertrain Production will build the prototypes. The production hall will then be set up in Ghent.

It is not yet clear when it will be ready for operation.

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