Volta Trucks, a start-up electric commercial vehicle manufacturer, has revealed the first running prototype chassis of the Volta Zero, a purpose-built, fully electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city logistics.
The first running Volta Zero prototype chassis has been designed and built using the proposed production specification frame and drivetrain components of the finished vehicle. This includes the high-voltage battery, supplied by Proterra, and the compact eAxle (an integrated rear axle, electric motor and transmission unit) from Meritor. The Volta Zero will be Europe’s first commercial vehicle to use an eAxle for increased efficiency and vehicle range.
The prototype chassis adds the proposed production-specification frame and drivetrain and it can be driven at normal road speeds. The chassis is due to start a comprehensive testing programme on proving grounds soon, with learnings taken into the production of a pilot fleet of vehicles expected to be delivered in late 2021. These vehicles will be tested by Volta Trucks engineers as well as being evaluated by key customers that have signed up for both testing and options for series production, to develop their understanding of how the Volta Zero will integrate into their operations. Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles is expected to follow at the end of 2022.
Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Volta Trucks said, “The reveal of our first running prototype Volta Zero chassis is a major milestone on our journey to producing the first customer-specification vehicles in around 18 months’ time.
“While traditional vehicle manufacturers take years to undertake market assessments, design processes and vehicle development, at Volta Trucks, we work at speed because we know that the world’s climate emergency cannot wait, and our customers need vehicles now. In six months we have designed and developed a running prototype chassis, and 18 months from now, we will be building series production vehicles for our customers. This is what they need, this is the speed they need us to work at, and this is what we’ll deliver.”