Volta Trucks Launches Volta Zero Electric Commercial Vehicle

Swedish company Volta Trucks has launched the Volta Zero, its first vehicle and the world’s first purpose-built fully electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner-city parcel and freight distribution. The Volta Zero will start undertaking operator trials in Europe in the first half of 2021 and Volta says that orders have already been taken from companies wanting to secure the first customer-specification vehicles. Those are due to be delivered when production starts in 2022.

The Volta Zero will use 160 – 200 kWh of battery power and have a pure-electric range of 150-200km. This is sufficient, the company says, for the inner-city logistics requirements for which the truck was designed.

Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are used that will be highly modular, enabling Volta Trucks to adapt the vehicle to an operator’s specific requirements. The company claims that Lithium Iron Phosphate battery technology is well suited to large commercial vehicle use, delivering a long cycle life, robust cell design, good thermal stability and, along with the placement of the battery between the chassis rails, excellent safety.

The Volta Zero uses an e-Axle to drive the rear wheels, rather than a conventional electric motor and driveshaft set up. The single electric motor, transmission, and axle of the Volta Zero are contained in a lightweight and compact e-Axle unit that the company says is lighter and more efficient, delivering better range as a result.

The Volta Zero is 9,460mm in length, 3,470mm high and 2,550mm wide, with a wheelbase of 4,800mm. It’s Gross Vehicle Weight is 16,000kgs and the vehicle is limited to a top speed of 90km/h (56mph). It has been built to offer a payload of 8,600kgs and is designed to accommodate 16 Euro pallets. A refrigerated cargo box will also be available.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are available. These include Active Steering, Road Sign Assist, and Reversing Assistant with reversing camera, Lane Change Assist and Lane Departure Warning systems. There is also a technical status monitoring system, based on artificial intelligence, designed to avoids breakdowns and maximise the uptime of the vehicle.

The driver of a Volta Zero has a central driving position with a swivel seat and enjoys 220-degrees 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. Easy access to the cabin comes via fast-opening sliding doors – useful when the truck is parked for delivery jobs in busy or narrow streets.

The next stage of development for Volta is the production of 12 pilot fleet vehicles. These vehicles will be built in the UK and used for testing and evaluation with a number of Europe’s leading logistics companies to provide operator input and feedback on the final production specification.

Production, anticipated to be in the UK, is due to commence in 2022, and by the end of that year the company aims to have built around 500 customer-specification vehicles, rising to 5,000 vehicles a year by 2025, and increasing thereafter.

Source: Motor Trader E-magazine (September 2020)

17 September 2020

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