A Swedish automotive company Volta Trucks has started the production of the first road-going ‘Design Verification’ (DV) prototype Volta Zero vehicle at a bespoke facility in Coventry, UK.
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city logistics, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centers. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150-200 km (95-125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 1.2M tonnes of CO2 by 2025, according to the company. The vehicle will have a limited top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph).
Safety is also the heart of Volta-Trucks, with its ambition of producing the safest trucks. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in the central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, in addition to a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimizing dangerous blind spots. The prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first vehicles expected to be operating with customers in mid-2022.
The DV prototypes are the first full-electric Volta Zero vehicles to be built in the recently unveiled production-ready design. The company plans to manufacture a total of 25 vehicles, and once completed in January, the fleet will embark on a rigorous testing regime. The tests will involve Volta Trucks engineers replicating a wide range of customer usage and delivery cycles, as well as taking the Volta Zero to the extremes of cold weather environments in the Arctic, hot weathers in equatorial conditions, and crash testing, all to validate the safety, durability, and reliability of the vehicle.
The data collected from the comprehensive DV testing program will be fed into the final Production Verification (PV) prototype stage. The PV prototype vehicles will be built at the company’s new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022.