Volta Zero is a purpose-built, full electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle optimised for safety and efficiency. The cab features a 220-degree field of visibility, with a glasshouse-style cab design that offers a premium workspace for drivers.
The EV startup’s ambition is to make the truck an attractive option for logistics companies that need a vehicle capable of hauling heavy loads. Its plan involves a Truck as a Service (TaaS) subscription that combines insurance, maintenance and charging infrastructure into a single monthly fee for customers.
Safety is at the heart of the volta trucks brand. In London, for example, 23% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist fatalities involve an HGV (heavy goods vehicle).
One key feature is the Volta Zero’s innovative cab design, which eliminates blind spots and allows for a wide 220-degree field of direct visibility. The driver sits in a central driving position, with a lower seat height than conventional trucks.
The Volta Zero’s operator cab is designed with the driver’s comfort and safety at the core, delivering a premium, open, minimalist environment with intuitive touch screens. It offers drivers a workspace more akin to driving a high-end car than a commercial truck, encouraging driver retention and recruitment.
The Volta Zero will use 160-200 kWh of battery power to deliver a range of 125 miles, which Frost & Sullivan analyst Kevin Kelly said is sufficient for urban inner-city logistics applications. The batteries are fitted with Lithium Iron Phosphate, which delivers longer cycle life, robust cell design and good thermal stability.
Volta Zero vehicles are designed for last mile logistics and the optimum use of battery energy, delivering more miles per charge than equivalent diesel-powered trucks. This is because the truck’s electric powertrain has 90% less mechanical parts than an equivalent internal combustion engine.
The 16-tonne Volta Zero has a pure-electric range of 150 – 200 kms (95 – 125 mi.) which is more than sufficient for the daily operation of a ‘last-mile’ delivery vehicle. A Pilot Fleet of 7.5 and 12-tonne vehicles is due to be launched for customer trials in 2024, followed by series production in early 2025.
The driver of a Volta Zero sits significantly lower than a conventional truck, mirroring the height of pedestrians and other road users for easy visual communication with them. This reduces the risk of road rage by eliminating unnecessary confrontations and improves safety in city centres.
Ease of Maintenance
Swedish start-up Volta Trucks is developing a network of hubs to support its ‘Truck as a Service’ subscription scheme. This will accelerate the electrification of fleets and de-risk the process for Fleet Operators by offering a single, affordable monthly fee that funds the use of a full-electric Volta Zero truck, and all of its servicing, maintenance, insurance and training requirements.
The trucks feature a ground-up design, including an innovative compact eAxle that comprises the electric motor, transmission and axle all in one unit, with high-voltage batteries located within chassis rails to ensure safe operation. This eliminates the need for a traditional internal combustion engine, which Volta says disproportionately causes accidents with vulnerable road users such as pedestrians.
The driver’s cab features a low eye-line to mirror the height of pedestrians, and doors slide rather than swing open to ensure safety for passing cyclists. Moreover, rear-view cameras replace traditional mirrors to reduce the risk of collision with objects behind, and blind-spot warning systems help drivers detect nearby vehicles.
Ease of Financing
Electrification can be a daunting prospect for fleet owners. Volta Trucks has designed a risk-reducing “Truck as a Service” (TaaS) rental model, enabling large fleet operators to make the move to electric commercial vehicles without any upfront investment.
The TaaS plan includes a truck, box lift, electricity audit, infrastructure installation, electricity supply, insurance, tax, tires, and personnel training. Additionally, the company offers full financing with monthly billing options.
This allows large fleet operators to pay a single, affordable monthly fee to receive a vehicle with all its servicing, maintenance, insurance, and training requirements–even a replacement Zero if needed for maximum uptime and operational efficiency. Because the Volta Zero has 90% less mechanical parts than an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle, the company is targeting Total Cost of Ownership parity with diesel-powered vehicles.
Sustainability is at the heart of Volta’s business and it wants to spearhead the rapid change in large commercial vehicles from outdated diesel to clean and safe technological solutions. Its strategic roadmap reveals a product introduction of a Class 7 battery electric truck to US customers, followed by a full North American full-electric commercial fleet in 2023/24.