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Volvo Trucks (Sweden) makes Flanders site EU battery hub

The Ghent site of Swedish truck builder Volvo Trucks in Flanders is going to assemble batteries for the company’s electric models. Further anchoring the manufacturer in the region, this decision only adds to Volvo Trucks Gent’s position as the group’s largest truck production plant and the world’s first-ever automotive factory to be fully CO2 neutral. At the site, batteries will be built to supply all of Volvo Trucks’ sites across Europe.

Electrifying ambitions

In time, Volvo Trucks aims to bring more electric trucks onto the market. Medium-heavy electric trucks are already being built today. But in the future, heavy trucks, such as the classic model produced in Ghent, will also be electrified. This means that the Swedish manufacturer will also have to assemble heavy batteries.

In addition to a major investment, this production process involves the introduction of a completely new technology and requires a lot of highly specialized expertise, which the company finds in Ghent, Flanders.

At the beginning of 2020, the Ghent factory of its sister company Volvo Cars also established a production unit to manufacture batteries for electric passenger vehicles – representing an investment of around EUR 150 million. Meanwhile, various other automotive companies and truck builders also rely on Flanders’ expertise for their advanced manufacturing activities, including Dutch DAF Trucks, which channeled EUR 200 million into the expansion of its local factory in 2019.

Location as an asset

The announcement is a major boost for the local management and staff of Volvo Trucks, which has operated a site in Ghent since 1975.

This is good news for the further anchoring of Volvo Trucks in Ghent, Flanders. The plant’s central logistics location is an important asset that undoubtedly played a role in the decision.

Koen Knippenberg
vice president of Operations at the Ghent Plant of Volvo Group Belgium

A story written in superlatives

Today, the Ghent facility is the largest truck factory of the Volvo Group around the globe. Volvo’s entire European range of heavy trucks is manufactured there before being exported all over the world. In fact, over 40,000 cabins and trucks are produced and more than 700,000 wheels are assembled at the site in Flanders every year. But it’s not just “the bigger, the better”; sustainability also reigns at the plant. In this respect, Volvo Trucks Gent is the world’s first automotive plant to be completely CO2 neutral, avoiding more than 700,000 tons of CO2 emissions to date.

More info

Volvo Trucks
Reported by
Newspaper Nieuwsblad, website Volvo Trucks Belgium
10 November 2020

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