Volta Trucks, the company behind the first purpose-built full-electric heavy goods vehicle, has announced that it is increasing its electric line-up by launching new commercial vehicles ranging from 7.5 to 19 tons.
As part of its Road to Zero-Emissions strategy, Volta Trucks plans to expand its product portfolio with three additional variants within the medium- to lower end of the heavy-duty class. With Volta Zero models available in the 7.5-tonne, 12-tonne, 16-tonne and 19-tonne weight categories, the company will offer a range of full-electric commercial vehicles that have compact electric powertrains.
The 16-tonne Volta Zero will be the first vehicle delivered, with pilot fleet trucks built by the end of 2021, and series production starting around 12 months afterwards. This vehicle is currently in the engineering development phase, with early prototype testing due to start shortly.
Production of the 16-tonne vehicle will be closely followed by the largest 19-tonne and mid-size 12-tonne variants in 2023. A pilot fleet of the smaller 7.5-tonne vehicles is expected to be launched for customer trials in the same year, with production commencing in late 2024. These later vehicles are currently in the early design development phase.
With the company’s clear focus on best-in-class vehicle safety with features for the driver and the surrounding ecosystem, all trucks will adopt the innovative low-seat central driving position with a glasshouse-style cab. This offers 220-degrees of visibility to maximize visual communication between the driver and vulnerable road users around the vehicle. Also, like the 16-tonne vehicle, all variants will be designed with optimized payloads, thus offering fleet managers the opportunity of using a reduced number of larger Volta Zero vehicles, and removing several smaller vans from their operations, thereby also having a positive effect on inner-city traffic congestion.
Given its sustainability ambitions, Volta Trucks will adopt a network manufacturing strategy with a number of assembly facilities distributed across its key geographies, minimizing unnecessary transportation and cost. The company recently announced it has ‘expressed an interest’ in manufacturing vehicles at the Decarbonisation Hub project in the former Nissan manufacturing facilities in Barcelona. Any vehicles manufactured in Spain could potentially serve southern European markets but would not be the first vehicles built. The Company is considering a number of additional manufacturing locations across Europe, North America and Asia, to have the capacity to meet the significant volume ramp up envisaged within the plan.
Announcing the company’s ambitious Road-to-Zero Emissions strategy, chief executive officer of Volta Trucks, Essa Al-Saleh, said: “We have seen huge success since launching the 16-tonne Volta Zero in September 2020. We have significant tailwinds with zero emission large commercial vehicles, thanks to forthcoming legislation changes that are driving demand, as well as many customers with uncompromising sustainability agendas wanting to purchase the most environmentally focused vehicles for their fleets. This has created a very strong order book that encourages us to rapidly accelerate our plans.
When we launched the Volta Zero, we’d expected to be selling 5,000 vehicles a year with a single model by 2025. Given our pace of development, driven by customer demand, we clearly see the opportunity to expand the Volta Zero into a portfolio of vehicles to offer customers a wider selection of full-electric vehicle sizes, and to accelerate the change to zero emissions. This leads us to far more ambitious sales expectations, with more than five times the number of vehicles now expected to be built compared to our original proposal. That’ll see over 27,000 vehicles sold per year by 2025, and further volume growth afterwards.”