Volta Trucks confirms US launch

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by Emily Atkins

Volta Trucks has confirmed the US launch and first public display of the all-electric Volta Zero at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo between May 1 and 4.

The introduction of Volta Trucks’s all-electric commercial vehicles into North America will be led in 2023 by the Class 6 and Class 7 Volta Zero (equivalent to the existing European 16-ton truck), which will be available with an ambient or refrigerated cargo box.

In late 2023, Volta Trucks will launch a US-based Driving Experience Program for fleet operators to evaluate a pilot fleet of Volta Zeros in real distribution environments to understand how the electric delivery trucks will integrate into their operations. A similar program is currently launching across six European countries. The program will start on the US west coast, ahead of a roll out of production vehicles expected in 2024.

The Volta Zero uses a compact eAxle, comprising the electric motor, transmission, and axle all in one unit, supplied by Michigan-based Accelera by Cummins, and high-voltage batteries located within the chassis rails, from California-based Proterra.

As a vehicle specifically designed for urban logistics, the Class 6 and Class 7 15-ton Volta Zero will offer a modular battery configuration to deliver a range of 150 to 200 km.

The Class 6 and Class 7 Volta Zero introduction is scheduled to be closely followed by a Class-5 vehicle of 19,500 lb. and a Class-6 truck of 26,000 lb., equivalent to the European 7.5- and 12-ton vehicles, in 2026.

Class-5 and 6 Volta Zeros, revealed in April 2022, will look like the Class 7 vehicle. The Class-5 and 6 trucks will be very similar to each other from the front, with the Class-6 vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and a second set of rear wheels and tires to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.

Commercial vehicles comprise a small portion of city traffic but have historically been involved in a disproportionate number of accidents with vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. The Volta Zero has been designed with a glasshouse-style cab with a 220-degree direct view around the vehicle, for blind-spot reduction, and a lower, centre-mounted driving position that enables eye-level connection with all road users.

The driver enters and exits the vehicle on either side, always onto the sidewalk for their own safety, and through sliding rather than swinging doors, to also ensure the safety of passing cyclists.

Volta Trucks offers a ‘Truck as a Service’ deal, in which users pay a monthly fee that funds the use of an all-electric Volta Zero vehicle, and all of its servicing, maintenance, finance, insurance and training requirements. The company will develop its own US-based ‘Volta Trucks Hubs’ for vehicle service and maintenance. Hubs will be located close to its customers’ own logistics centres. The company will also develop an extensive network of service partner facilities.

Volta Trucks was founded in 2019 in Sweden by co-founders Carl-Magnus Norden and Kjell Waloen. The company’s contract manufacturing facility is in Steyr, Austria, where production of customer specification vehicles is starting in early Q2 2023.