One of the keys to Tesla’s early success was that the company understood that winning drivers over to electric drive involves more than just selling cars. The importance of a more comprehensive customer relationship applies with even more force in the commercial vehicle market, and savvy commercial EV makers are offering “turnkey” electrification solutions, helping their fleet customers with planning, infrastructure installation, applying for government incentives and more.
Volvo Trucks North America recently put on an Electromobility Summit, bringing customers and partners to its customer center in Dublin, Virginia to show off its new Volvo VNR Class 8 electric semi-tractor, and to highlight the ancillary services it’s now offering to buyers.
“A key piece of the journey to convert fleets from largely diesel-powered to fully electric is education,” writes CleanTechnica’s Kyle Field, who attended the Summit. “To ensure its customers were set up for success, Volvo Trucks overhauled its sales process to integrate a ton of education and additional services, transforming its sales team into a full-blown electric transformation consultation and financing shop.”
Volvo Trucks is revamping its existing service networks to accommodate EVs. Today 18 of its North American service centers have been qualified to service EVs, and another 55 are in the process of being qualified.
Volvo aims to be a one-stop shop for its fleet customers, and the benefits of this arrangement flow in both directions. The company hopes that providing insurance, financing and infrastructure-related services will create new profit centers.
The Volvo VNR is now in production, and some units have already been delivered to customers. The company says that early adopters who started out with pilots of 10 or 20 trucks are now coming back with orders in the hundreds.