Volta Trucks announced the strategic roadmap through which it will enter the North American market. The company is already established as a leading and pioneering manufacturer and service provider of all-electric commercial vehicles. With this plan, the first Volta Zero trucks will hit the streets of Los Angeles by the end of next year.
The introduction of Volta Trucks’ 100 percent electric commercial vehicles in North America will begin in 2023 with a Volta Zero Class 7 truck, similar to the existing European 16-ton truck, with a dry or cooled body. Volta Zero is a custom-built 100 percent battery-electric medium-duty truck designed specifically for urban logistics. Designed from scratch on the Volta Zero, it uses an innovative compact eAxle that incorporates the electric motor, transmission and shaft, all in one unit, supplied by Michigan-based Meritor as well as high-voltage batteries in the chassis rails, providing the safest placement, from Proterra in California.
Volta Trucks will start with a first truck fleet of 100 Class 7 trucks in mid-2023; which will be evaluated by U.S. customers starting in Los Angeles ahead of a rollout of production vehicles in 2024. To date, Volta Trucks has built 24 ground-breaking ‘Design Verification’ prototypes, which are currently undergoing a rigorous and comprehensive testing program in Europe. Prior to launching in North America, the company expects to have built more than 1,500 all-electric Class 7 trucks for European customers.
Class 7 Volta Zero is a vehicle specially designed for urban logistics, offering a modular battery configuration for a range of 150 to 200 km – more than enough for distribution routes in the city center. The vehicle is suitable for both AC and DC 250 kW fast charging, and reaches a full charge from empty in just over an hour. An hour of charging with standard 19kW AC adds about 20km of range.
Although commercial vehicles make up a small proportion of urban traffic, they have historically been involved in a disproportionate number of accidents involving vulnerable road users. Together with Astheimer Design, Volta Trucks has revolutionized the entire driving experience, without the traditional internal combustion engine, by placing the driver’s seat centrally and low so that it is at eye level for pedestrians and cyclists. Volta Zero’s glass cabin provides a 220-degree field of view around the vehicle. This provides optimal visibility and reduction of blind spots.
Volta Zero’s innovative central driving position allows the driver to get in and out of the vehicle from both sides; always on the sidewalk for your own safety and through sliding doors instead of patio doors to ensure the safety of passing cyclists.
The 33,000 pounds, about 15 tons. The introduction of the Class 7 Volta Zero will be followed closely in 2024/2025 by a 19,500 lb. Class 5 vehicle and a 26,000 lb. Class 6 truck, equivalent to the European 7.5 and 12 tonne vehicles.
Class 5 and 6 Volta Zeros to be unveiled in April 2022 will have some visual resemblance to the Class 7 vehicle. All Volta Zeros meet the same world-class safety standards as the Class 7 vehicle. The zero emission engine avoids not only CO2 emissions but also the harmful particles that cause air quality and health problems. In front, Class 5 and Class 6 trucks will be identical. The Class 6 vehicle has a longer chassis and body and another set of rear wheels and tires that can accommodate the higher payload.
With its European experience, Volta Trucks understands the complexities that fleet operators face in the transition to electrification. In response, the company offers the innovative Truck as a Service, a one-stop-shop that gathers all the necessary elements to electrify a truck fleet in one offer and monthly payment.
In Europe, Truck as a Service includes a range of services, including the initial assessment of the site to fully understand the infrastructure needs of a customer’s depot, right up to the installation of the charging station. It also includes financing and insurance of the vehicles to speed up adoption and eliminate ownership risk for the customer. It is important that it also covers all vehicle service and maintenance requirements throughout the customer’s lifetime.
With the same approach as in Europe, Volta Trucks will develop its own ‘Volta Trucks Hubs’ for vehicle service and maintenance. Hubs will be located close to the customer’s own logistics centers to maximize uptime and convenience. The company will also develop an extensive network of third-party facilities to increase the geographical coverage of service and maintenance facilities.
Work is now underway to start the first US-based production with an experienced partner, with agreements expected later in 2022. The first US-delivered Class 7 vehicles will be built at the company’s existing contract factory in Steyr, Austria, to ensure the quality of the first American vehicles. All Class 5 and 6 vehicles to North America are expected to be built in the United States by 2024/25.
Volta Trucks founder Carl-Magnus Norden announced the US roadmap for the ACT Expo in Long Beach, California as follows: “Since the launch of Volta Trucks in 2019 and the unveiling of Volta Zero in September 2020, we have London, Paris and others European launch cities, where fleets are increasingly switching to electricity, to prove that our concepts meet customer needs.With over 6,000 pre-orders from some of Europe’s largest fleet operators, it’s time to expand our geographical horizons and look at the significant market opportunities in North America.I believe that our all-electric truck perfectly meets the needs of the US customer, and we look forward to engaging customers to get feedback on our products and services, and then test and learn, while looking forward to exceeding their expectations I look forward to meeting some of North America’s largest fleet customers and introducing them to our all-electric Class 7. ”