Volta Trucks has been identified as one of the biggest electric commercial vehicle startups present within Europe. It has marked up billions in back orders and has introduced three additional weight variants within its commercial vehicle segment, setting its footing in the European battery electric commercial vehicle market and taking on the likes of notable OEMs such as Daimler AG, and Volkswagen. After its ongoing success in the European market, Volta Trucks has released its strategy to take on the North American market.
Volta Trucks has revealed its product, services, and manufacturing roadmap for entry into the North American market as part of the Route to Zero Emissions strategy. Volta Trucks aims to appoint an experienced US-based manufacturing partner in late 2022. Product introduction is planned to be led by a Class 7 truck, equivalent to a European 16-ton vehicle, closely followed by Class 5 and Class 6 models, corresponding to the EU 7.5- and 12-ton variants. The pilot fleet of 100 Class 7 trucks is to be evaluated by US customers, starting in Los Angeles in mid-2023, ahead of the start of US production and scale up in 2024/25. Additionally, Volta Trucks plans to develop its own network of service and maintenance facilities alongside third-party coverage to maximize geographic reach.
The ground-up design of the Volta Zero uses an innovative compact eAxle, comprising the electric motor, transmission, and axle all in one unit, supplied by Michigan-based Meritor, and high-voltage batteries located within the chassis rails – their safest possible location – from California-based Proterra. Volta Trucks will initially introduce a Pilot Fleet of 100 Class 7 trucks in mid-2023 that will be evaluated by US customers, starting in Los Angeles in mid-2023, with additional cities to follow, ahead of a roll out of production vehicles in 2024. To date, Volta Trucks has built 24 road-going ‘Design Verification’ prototypes which are currently undergoing a rigorous and extensive testing program in Europe. Ahead of the introduction in North America, the company expects to have already built more than 1,500 full-electric Class 7 trucks for European customers.
As a vehicle specifically designed for urban logistics, the Class 7 Volta Zero will offer a modular battery configuration to deliver a range of 95 – 125 miles – more than enough for downtown distribution routes. The vehicle is designed to accept both AC and DC 250 kW fast charging, which delivers a full charge from empty in just over an hour. Alternatively, one hour of 19 kW AC standard charging will add around 12 miles of driving range.
All Volta Zeros benefit from the same world-class safety standards of the Class 7 vehicle, as well as its zero-emission powertrain, eliminating not only CO2 emissions but also harmful particulates that cause local air quality and health issues. The Class 5 and 6 trucks will be identical to each other from the front, with the Class 6 vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and second set of rear wheels and tyres, to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.
Additionally, as part of their Zero-Emission strategy, Volta plans to offer its innovative Truck as a Service proposition – a one-stop-shop that takes all of the elements needed to electrify a truck fleet, and brings them into a single offering and monthly payment. Work is now underway to kick-off initial US-based manufacturing with an experienced partner, with agreements expected later in 2022. The first Class 7 vehicles delivered to the US will be built at the company’s existing contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria, to ensure the quality of the first US vehicles, with all Class 5 and 6 vehicles for North America expected to be built in the US, starting in 2024/25.
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