Volta Trucks has revealed the forthcoming 7.5- and 12-tonne Volta Zero variants (earlier post)—the second product family in its full-electric vehicle range.
The 7.5- and 12-tonne Volta Zeros have been designed by Volta Trucks’ partner, Astheimer Design in Warwick, UK alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineering teams. The new full-electric vehicles bear a close but evolutionary visual relationship to the larger 16-tonne vehicle which is now undergoing extensive engineering development and testing ahead of customer evaluation during 2022.
The 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles will be visually identical at the front, with the 12-tonne vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and second set of rear wheels and tires, to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.
The 7.5-and 12-tonne models carry over the principles of the innovative cab and premium working environment for drivers. The vehicle’s ground-up design, without the traditional internal combustion engine, has enabled designers and engineers to completely rethink truck design in this segment.
The driver of a Volta Zero has a wide 220-degrees of direct vision around the vehicle. This panoramic view of the surroundings through a glasshouse-style cab is designed to deliver a Transport for London five-star Direct Vision Standard rating for optimum visibility and the reduction of blind spots. The protection of vulnerable road users is also enhanced by the use of rear-view cameras that replace traditional mirrors, a 360-degree birds-eye camera showing the driver their complete surroundings, and blind-spot warning systems that detect objects down the sides of the vehicle.
Without the legacy internal combustion engine, the driver of a Volta Zero sits far lower than in a conventional truck, with their eye-line at around 1.8 meters (5.9 feet). This mirrors the height of pedestrians and other road users nearby for easy visual communication. And thanks to the Volta Zero’s innovative central driving position, the driver can enter and exit the vehicle on either side, always onto the pavements for their own safety, and through sliding rather than swinging doors to also ensure the safety of passing cyclists.
The new 7.5- and 12-tonne Volta Zero will also change the experience and workspace for drivers. With near-silent operations and minimiszd cognitive overload thanks to an intuitive dashboard and interfaces, the driving experience is more akin to a premium car than today’s traditional commercial vehicle.
The ground-up development of the 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles is being delivered at the same pace as other vehicle developments. Having confirmed the start of the project in December 2021, a Pilot Fleet of vehicles is expected to be launched for customer trials in 2024, with series production due to commence in early 2025. The forthcoming 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles will make a significant contribution to the company’s objective to sell more than 27,000 per year by 2025 and increasing in the years beyond.
The forthcoming 7.5- and 12-tonne models complete the full-electric Volta Zero product family. They’ll sit alongside our 16-tonne vehicle, that’s currently engaged in extensive testing ahead of the first customer use later this year, and the 18-tonne vehicle that will start production in mid-2023. Our customers tell us that they really appreciate the safety and zero-emission attributes of the 16-tonne Volta Zero, but also need smaller 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles in their operations. Our engineering teams are now scaling rapidly to be able to deliver all four vehicles at pace, as our customers ask of us.—Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks
In November 2021, Volta Trucks announced Europe’s largest purchase of full-electric trucks with DB Schenker’s order of 1,470 vehicles. This followed Petit Forestier’s order of 1,000 Volta Zeros. Volta Trucks now has a total order bank of around 6,000 vehicles, with an order bank value of circa €1.3 billion.