In the world of capital markets and press release EVs, Volta Trucks’ 100% battery electric commercial vehicles are coming to North America it says. leading the way in 2023 will be a Volta Zero Class 7 truck, the startup claims. This is roughly equivalent to the existing European 16-ton truck, with a dry or refrigerated cargo box.
The Volta Zero is a purpose-built 100% battery-electric medium duty truck specifically designed for urban logistics. 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 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 promised roll out of production vehicles in 2024.
However, thus far Volta Trucks has built only 24 road-going ‘Design Verification’ prototypes which are currently undergoing testing 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. The vehicle is designed for 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.
The first Class 7 vehicles delivered to the US will be built at the company’s existing contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria. All Class 5 and 6 vehicles for North America are expected to be built in the US starting in 2024/25.
“While commercial vehicles compose a small portion of city traffic, they have historically been involved in a disproportionate number of accidents with vulnerable road users. Without the traditional internal combustion engine, Volta Trucks, alongside Astheimer Design, reconfigured the entire driving experience to centrally mount the driver’s seat, and lowered it, in order to meet pedestrians and cyclists at eye level. The Volta Zero’s glasshouse-style cab offers a 220-degree view around the vehicle, for optimum visual awareness and blind-spot reduction,” the company said.