Manufacturing is now underway of the first road-going ‘Design Verification’ (DV) prototype Volta Zero vehicle in Coventry. The prototypes are the first full-electric Volta Zero vehicles to be built in the recently unveiled production-ready design. A total of 25 vehicles are being manufactured and will be completed in January, the fleet will then embark on a rigorous testing regime.
This will involve Volta Trucks engineers replicating a wide range of customer usage and delivery cycles, as well as taking the Volta Zero to the extremes of cold weather environments in the Arctic, hot weathers in equatorial conditions, and crash testing, all to validate the safety, durability and reliability of the vehicle.
The results of the DV testing programme will be fed into the final prototype stage – ‘Production Verification’ (PV). The PV prototype vehicles will be built at the company’s new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022.
Many of these production-specification prototypes will be lent to selected customers for extended periods to be tested in their real-world logistics conditions, undertaking millions of delivery miles, alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineers.
The production specification vehicles will roll off the production line by the end of 2022.
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city logistics, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 95-125 miles, the Volta Zero is expected to eliminate an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
The Volta Zero was designed as an electric vehicle from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.
Around 1,000 demonstrations of the Volta Zero have taken place across Europe, resulting in over 2,500 pre-orders.