India on Swedish electric truck maker Volta Trucks’ radar

by Mayank Dhingra 20 May 2021


Volta Trucks, the Sweden-based all-electric commercial vehicle start-up which in September 2020 introduced its Volta Zero – acclaimed to be the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for intra-city parcel and freight distribution, is eyeing new markets.

“India, which is among the countries moving towards towards mass scale electric mobility, is set to be among them, though not immediately. “India is certainly on the radar but in the second phase of expansion,” said Dr. Seshu Bhagavathula, director, Volta Trucks, when asked whether Volta Trucks sees any prospects in India. Dr. Bhagavathula was speaking at the Safer Mobility Conclave, hosted by Autocar Professional

The pilot fleet of the company’s first truck – a 16-tonner called ‘Volta Zero’, will be built by the end of 2021, and series production is planned to start a year later. Touching upon the company’s broad direction, Dr Bagavathula said, “The Volta Zero is an urban delivery truck and would primarily move in the downtown and residential areas.” With focus on innovative design and usage of new materials, Volta Trucks wants to be a leader in safety, in the commercial vehicle space. On its website, the company claims, ‘We are creating the world’s safest commercial vehicles, with the removal of the internal combustion engine allowing a complete rethink of the established vehicle concept.’

“It is meant to decongest urban traffic and with its zero-emission nature,” said Dr Bagavathula. Volta Trucks has set a target to sell 27,000 units annually by 2025.

While the company has started undertaking operator trials with some of Europe’s largest parcel-delivery and logistics companies through the first half of 2021, investigations are believed to be underway to secure a contract manufacturing partner to assist with production of the Volta Zero. Volta Trucks aims to have built around 500 customer-specification vehicles by end-2022, with production anticipated to be in the UK. The target is to supply 5,000 customer-specification vehicles by 2025.

Optimised load-carrying capacity
The Volta Zero has been designed to optimise its load-carrying capacity, thus minimising the number of vehicles on an operator’s fleet, and the consequent congestion on city streets. The principle is that by the virtue of its overall design, the Volta Zero can operate in narrow city streets and undertake the role that three or four 3.5-tonne vehicles would ordinarily do.

The vehicle measures 9,460mm in length, 3,470mm high and 2,550mm wide, with a wheelbase of 4,800mm. Its Gross Vehicle Weight is 16,000kg and the vehicle is limited to a top speed of 90kph (56mph).

The Volta Zero is claimed to offer a pure-electric range of 150-200km (95–125 miles), which is being touted to be more than sufficient for the daily use of a ‘last-mile’ delivery vehicle and has been validated using simulations with a full payload. The truck also comes equipped with ADAS features such as active steering assist, road-sign assist and a reversing assistant, that together help the driver while driving, manoeuvring as well as parking.

The company aims to disrupt the commercial vehicle segment and intends to change the general perception towards these vehicles by integrating its futuristic offerings into the zero-emission towns and cities of the future.