Volta Trucks and the Petit Forestier Group, the European leader in refrigeration rentals, have joined forces to make a refrigerated 100% electric commercial vehicle available for rental from 2022.
At the heart of the long-term partnership is the Volta Zero, the first 16- tonne zero-emission commercial vehicle designed for urban deliveries and operations. The Petit Forestier Group has agreed to purchase 1,000 Volta Zeros to accelerate its transition towards cleaner energies and represents Volta Trucks’ largest sale to date.
What is the Volta Zero?
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city freight deliveries, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150 - 200 kms (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 180,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
The refrigerated full-electric Volta Zero trucks will join the Petit Forestier Group’s fleet of over 58,500 vehicles and will be equipped by Lecapitaine, the Petit Forestier Group’s industrial subsidiary, and the European leader for the design and manufacture of refrigerated bodywork. The Lecapitaine design office have already started collaborating with the Volta Trucks’ technical teams to ensure the comprehensive integration of the box body and the refrigeration unit, with the first refrigerated Volta Zero is due for user testing in 2021 ahead of the start of production in 2022. This industrial agreement will also cover all refrigerated vehicles sold by Volta Trucks.
In addition to the acquisition of 1,000 vehicles, the strategic partnership also focuses on the co-development of skills, in particular technical expertise in the maintenance of electric vehicles, to offer a full-service solution to end customers and facilitate and simplify the operational deployment of these innovative trucks in the Petit Forestier Group’s 280 branches.
According to Leonard Forestier, CEO of the Petit Forestier Group, “In response to environmental issues and reasonable concerns about accessibility in city centres, greener energies are a promising driver of growth for the Petit Forestier Group and this collaboration with Volta Trucks perfectly illustrates our vision. This partnership embodies our desire to significantly increase our pace in terms of innovation and energy transition of our fleet. We are taking action now to prepare for the future and to provide our customers with the best zero-emission refrigeration solutions, designed for their urban deliveries. We are delighted to work with the teams at Volta Trucks and to jointly help make our cities more pleasant.”
Welcoming the announcement, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, Rob Fowler, said; “Entering into a strategic long-term partnership to supply 1,000 vehicles to Petit Forestier, the leading refrigerated truck rental company in Europe, and working with Lecapitaine to integrate a refrigerated solution to the Volta Zero, will strengthen Volta Trucks’ position as the leading manufacturer of electric commercial vehicles. When we launched the Volta Zero, we knew that there was a pent-up demand for the electrification of trucks. The unprecedented reaction from our customers, decarbonising their fleets to meet forthcoming legislation, and improving the environment for everyone, has more than validated our expectations.”
Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, with its ambition of being the safest large commercial vehicle manufacturer. The Volta Zero was designed for electric from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.
The first prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first pre-production vehicles due to start evaluation with customers in 2021 ahead of the start of series production in 2022.
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