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Volta Trucks unveils new electric commercial vehicle
** UPDATE – In September 2021 Volta Trucks said the Volta Zero would now be built in Austria rather than the UK. Original article below from 4th September 2020 and references that Volta had originally anticipated production to be in the UK **
Volta Trucks, the start-up electric vehicle manufacturer, has revealed the new Volta Zero – the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle, designed specifically for inner-city parcel and freight distribution.
The Volta Zero will begin operator trials with some of Europe’s largest parcel delivery and logistics companies in the first half of 2021. The production of 12 pilot fleet vehicles will take place in the UK. These vehicles will be used for testing and evaluation and to provide operator input and feedback on the final production specification.
Production of the Volta Zero is due to commence in 2022 and orders have already been taken from companies wanting to secure the first customer-specification vehicles. Investigations are ongoing to secure a contract manufacturing partner to assist with production, which is anticipated to be in the UK. By the end of 2022, Volta Trucks aims to have built around 500 customer-specification vehicles, rising to 5,000 vehicles a year by 2025, and increasing thereafter.
The removal of the traditional internal combustion engine enabled the designers and engineers of the Volta Zero to completely rethink how a truck has always been designed. The driver of a Volta Zero has a wide 220-degrees of direct vision around the vehicle. The protection of vulnerable road users is also enhanced by the use of rear-view cameras that replace traditional mirrors, a 360-degree birds-eye camera showing the driver their complete surroundings, and blind-sport warning systems that detect objects down the sides of the vehicle.
Rob Fowler, chief executive officer of Volta Trucks, said: “Commercial vehicles form the lifeblood of commerce and livelihoods in cities, but today’s large trucks dangerously impose themselves on our streets and dominate their surroundings. With the launch of the Volta Zero, we are changing the face of road transport.
“Volta Trucks is redefining the perception of the large commercial vehicle, and how it operates in and integrates with, the zero-emission towns and cities of the future. This is made possible by the three pillars that define both Volta Trucks as a business and the Volta Zero – safety, sustainability, and electrification. Add to that our unique Truck as a Service proposition that reimagines a fleet manager’s business model. At Volta Trucks, we are directly contributing to society’s migration towards an electrified future.”
Carl-Magnus Norden, founder of Volta Trucks, added: “Sustainability is at the very core of our business. Saving the planet cannot wait, it must happen now, and Volta Trucks wants to spearhead the rapid change in large commercial vehicles, from outdated diesel to clean and safe technological solutions.
“From the outset of the development of the Volta Zero, we understood the positive benefits that vehicle electrification would bring to society, and specifically the inhabitants of city centres where air quality is frequently at its worst. For Volta Trucks, electrification is the means to the end. The end of the internal combustion engine. The end of CO2 being emitted into our atmosphere and the end of harmful pollutants affecting the health of today’s, and the future, generations.”
During 2021, Volta Trucks will develop a UK head office and aftersales facility in a West London location to service the vehicles that will operate in the pilot trials in London. By the end of 2021, it is anticipated that Volta Trucks will have created around 130 skilled automotive and engineering jobs, with its headcount rising to around 150 people.