Anglo-Swedish start-up Volta Trucks
, a full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, has unveiled the 7.5- and 12-tonne Volta Zero variants — the second product family in its vehicle line-up.
The latest additions to the Volta Zeros have been designed by Volta Trucks’ partner, Astheimer Design
in Warwick, alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineering teams. The new electric trucks bear a close but evolutionary visual relationship to the larger 16-tonne vehicle which is now undergoing extensive engineering development and testing ahead of customer evaluation during 2022.
The new vehicles will be visually identical at the front, with the 12-tonne vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and second set of rear wheels and tyres, to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.
The 7.5-and 12-tonne models carry over the principles of the innovative cab and premium working environment for drivers. The vehicle’s ground-up design, without the traditional internal combustion engine, has enabled designers and engineers to completely rethink truck design in this segment. The driver of a Volta Zero has a wide 220deg of direct vision around the vehicle.
This panoramic view of the surroundings through a glasshouse-style cab is designed to deliver a Transport for London five-star Direct Vision Standard rating for optimum visibility and the reduction of blind spots. 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.
Without the legacy internal combustion engine, the driver of a Volta Zero sits far lower than in a conventional truck, with their eye-line at around 1.8m. This mirrors the height of pedestrians and other road users nearby for easy visual communication. Thanks to the Volta Zero’s innovative central driving position, the driver can enter and exit the vehicle on either side, always onto the pavements for their own safety, and through sliding rather than swinging doors to ensure the safety of passing cyclists
The ground-up development of the 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles is being delivered at the same industry-leading pace as other vehicle developments. Having confirmed the start of the project in December 2021, a ‘pilot fleet’ of vehicles is expected to be launched for customer trials in 2024, with series production due to commence in early 2025. The new vehicles will make a significant contribution to the company’s objective to sell over 27,000 per year by 2025 and increasing in the years beyond.
Essa Al-Saleh, chief executive officer of Volta Trucks, said: “The forthcoming 7.5- and 12-tonne models complete the Volta Zero product family. They will sit alongside our 16-tonne vehicle, that is currently engaged in extensive testing ahead of the first customer use later this year, and the 18-tonne vehicle that will start production in mid-2023.
“Our customers tell us that they really appreciate the safety and zero-emission attributes of the 16-tonne Volta Zero, but also need smaller 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles in their operations. Our engineering teams are now scaling rapidly to be able to deliver all four vehicles at pace.”