To enable a future transition to electric it is vital that we look beyond existing truck architecture and come up with new concepts by starting to think about electric trucks outside the box.
That is what UK electric truck maker Volta has done, designing a completely new truck architecture on a chassis to carry 16 tonnes.
Volta claims the Zero electric truck is the world’s first purpose built, fully electric 16 tonne delivery truck designed for urban and last mile deliveries. It has been designed to be both safe and sustainable with a central driver seat that enables improved visibility of other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Volta will start building running prototypes in December this year and deliver customer specification vehicles by December 2022.
The company is also looking at different ways to own a truck, coming up with a ‘Truck as a service’ concept.
“We offer a frictionless and hassle-free way to migrate fleets of all sizes to electric, maximising their uptime and operational efficiency,” says the Volta website. “For a single monthly fee, customers will have access to the vehicle, charging infrastructure, and all of its servicing, maintenance, insurance and training requirements.”
The truck’s designers also reckon the Volta will be able to compete on price with current diesel trucks.
“With its innovative electric powertrain, the Volta Zero has 90 per cent less mechanical parts than an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle,” says Volta. “As a result, Volta Trucks is projecting lower Total Cost of Ownership than an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle, meaning that for a fleet operator, sustainability and profitability can go hand-in-hand as a further incentive towards the migration to electric vehicles.”
Volta Trucks has recently done a deal with CPC Group, Europe’s largest composite manufacturing company, to develop and supply the sustainable and recyclable composite exterior body panels for the Volta Zero.
When the Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, it was the first commercial vehicle to use sustainably-sourced flax and biodegradable resin composite panels. The fully natural, lightweight, high-performance fibre material is almost CO2 neutral over its lifecycle, and matches the stiffness and weight of carbon fibre.