The first Volta Zero from Volta Trucks, the full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, has been driven off the company’s contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria.
The landmark vehicle, the first of a series of second-generation ‘Production Verification’ prototypes, will form part of a Pilot Fleet of trucks. These will be loaned to customers for extended periods in late 2022 and early 2023 to allow fleet operators to understand how the first purpose-built full-electric medium duty commercial vehicle will integrate into their operations. The start of series production of customer specification vehicles is on track to start in early 2023.
Volta Trucks’ contract manufacturing facility is run by Steyr Automotive, formerly MAN Truck and Bus Austria. Steyr Automotive has reserved a capacity of 14,000 vehicles per year for Volta Trucks from its total available production. Over time, manufacturing the Volta Zero will create 510 jobs, plus 180 jobs in the building of the cargo boxes, in addition to an estimated 2,000 positions within the supply chain. The manufacturing contract has a value of up to 1 billion euros over its lifetime.
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for urban logistics, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150-200km, the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
Co-founder and Chief Manufacturing and Logistics Officer of Volta Trucks, Kjell Waloen, said; “This first vehicle rolling off the line at our manufacturing plant in Steyr is the latest significant milestone on the Volta Trucks journey towards the start of production of customers’ vehicles. To have achieved this significant landmark in just 12 months is a testament to the pace that we are working at to deliver the safest and most sustainable trucks to urban streets, and the excellent collaboration we have with our partners at Steyr Automotive. Their team has used generations of premium truck-building experience to deliver the first Volta Zero off the production line on time, and to the highest quality standards.”
The Volta Zero, as per the company, 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 prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first vehicles expected to be operating with customers in late-2022.
In November 2021, Volta Trucks announced Europe’s largest purchase of full-electric trucks with DB Schenker’s order of 1,470 vehicles. This followed Petit Forestier’s order of 1,000 Volta Zeros. Volta Trucks now has a total order bank of around 6,500 vehicles, with an order bank value of estimated at 1.4 billion euros.