First road-going Volta Zero electric cargo truck prototypes in production
Commercial e-vehicle startup Volta Trucks has reached another milestone in its plans to get purpose-built 16-tonne electric haulers onto city streets. Production of the first road-going Volta Zero prototypes has begun at a bespoke facility in Coventry, UK.
Renders for the Volta Zero first appeared in the middle of 2020, followed by the first rolling demonstrator in September of that year and real-world testing of the chassis and drivetrain in August of this year.
Earlier this month, the company pulled back the curtain on the final production-ready design, created in partnership with Astheimer Design, which proved visually very close to the renders and demonstrator vehicle though all of the body panels had undergone an update and redesign.
Other small tweaks included the removal of the horizontal light bar to the front, the straight diagonal line dividing the cargo box and cab was replaced with a more angled flavor, the color scheme inside the cab turned to the dark side, and the luxurious teak flooring made way for hard-wearing rubber matting. The low, central seating for the driver did make it through unchanged though, as did the 220 degrees of visibility offered by the expansive glass of the cab.
Designed to meet the needs of inner-city logistics, the vehicle will have a limited top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and up to 200 kWh of battery onboard for 200 km (125 miles) of per-charge range.
The Design Verification prototypes now being put together in Coventry will make a fleet of 25 test vehicles that will be put through their paces in replicated usage and delivery scenarios, roll along in extreme weather conditions, and undergo crash, safety and reliability validation.
Data from these tests will inform the build of Production Verification prototypes due to be manufactured at Volta's new plant in Steyr, Austria, by the middle of next year. These vehicles will undergo extensive trials by selected customers, ahead of production-spec vehicles rolling out before the close of 2022.
Source: Volta Trucks