Building upon the success of the Volta Zero—a purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed for inner-city last mile deliveries (earlier post)—Volta Trucks plans to expand its product portfolio with three additional variants within the medium- to lower end of the heavy-duty class. With Volta Zero models available in the 7.5-tonne, 12-tonne, 16-tonne and 19-tonne weight categories, the company plans to offer a comprehensive range of full-electric commercial vehicles for the logistics industry.
Volta Trucks’ independent research suggests that the total global addressable market for full-electric trucks in the 7.5t – 19t category will exceed $100 billion by the end of 2025. With speed to market at the heart of the strategy, Volta Trucks will offer a wide range of full-electric commercial vehicles at a time of scarce supply of comparable full electric vehicles from new start-ups and the established vehicle manufacturers.
The 16-tonne Volta Zero will be the first vehicle delivered, with Pilot Fleet trucks built by the end of 2021, and series production starting around 12 months afterwards. This vehicle is currently in the engineering development phase, with early prototype testing due to start shortly.
Production of the 16-tonne vehicle will be closely followed by the largest 19-tonne and mid-size 12-tonne variants in 2023. A Pilot Fleet of the smaller 7.5-tonne vehicles is expected to be launched for customer trials in the same year, with production commencing in late 2024. These later vehicles are currently in the early design development phase.
All trucks will adopt the innovative low-seat central driving position with a glasshouse-style cab featured in the original Volta Zero. This offers 220-degrees of visibility to maximize visual communication between the driver and vulnerable road users around the vehicle. Also, like the 16-tonne vehicle, all variants will be designed with optimized payloads, thus offering fleet managers the opportunity of using a reduced number of larger Volta Zero vehicles, and removing several smaller vans from their operations, thereby also having a positive effect on inner-city traffic congestion.
The Volta Zero was launched in September 2020; at the end of 2020, Volta Trucks announced what was believed to be Europe’s single largest purchase of full-electric large commercial vehicles with the sale of 1,000 Volta Zeros to Petit Forestier, Europe’s largest refrigerated commercial rental fleet. The orderbook had swelled to $260 million by January 2021 and continues growing on the back of increasing customer interest.
Given the strength of market demand for the 16-tonne Volta Zero, Volta Trucks will accelerate its market entry with a Europe-first strategy, followed by US and Asian cities.
The Volta Zero was initially launched in the UK and France and is currently in Spain for a tailored roadshow with customers. Afterwards, it will be presented in Germany and North America over the summer, with other European markets including Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium to be confirmed by year end. Volta Trucks expects to introduce the Volta Zero in all its four weight variants across all its core markets.
Given the significant market demand for full-electric commercial vehicles, Volta Trucks targets to sell more than 27,000 units per year by the end of 2025, with volumes increasing further in the following years.
Demand has also been accelerated by Volta Trucks’ unique Truck as a Service (TaaS) proposition. TaaS will offer fleet managers a frictionless way to electrify their fleets, with a single, affordable, monthly fee providing access to a full-electric Volta Zero, and all of its servicing, maintenance, insurance and training requirements. It will even provide a replacement Volta Zero when needed, maximizing the uptime and operational efficiency of the vehicle.
Volta Trucks will adopt a network manufacturing strategy with a number of assembly facilities distributed across its key geographies, minimizing unnecessary transportation and cost. The company recently announced it has expressed an interest in manufacturing vehicles at the Decarbonisation Hub project in the former Nissan manufacturing facilities in Barcelona. Any vehicles manufactured in Spain could potentially serve southern European markets but would not be the first vehicles built. The company is considering a number of additional manufacturing locations across Europe, North America and Asia, to have the capacity to meet the significant volume ramp up envisaged within the plan.