Volta Trucks unveils Volta Zero prototype chassis

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 5, 2021

Volta Trucks has unveiled the first running prototype chassis of the Volta Zero – the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics.

VoltaAccording to Volta, the prototype chassis has been designed and built using the proposed production specification frame and drivetrain components of the finished vehicle. This includes the high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and the compact eAxle – the integrated rear axle, electric motor and transmission unit, from Meritor.

The Volta Zero will be Europe’s first commercial vehicle to use an innovative eAxle for increased efficiency and vehicle range.

The new prototype chassis adds the proposed production-specification frame and drivetrain and will be able to drive at normal road speeds. It is due to start a comprehensive testing programme on proving grounds soon, with learnings taken into the production of a Pilot Fleet of vehicles expected to be delivered in late 2021.

Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles is expected at the end of 2022.

“The reveal of our first running prototype Volta Zero chassis is a major milestone on our journey to producing the first customer-specification vehicles in around 18 months’ time,” said Essa Al-Saleh, CEO at Volta Trucks.

“The prototype will provide our designers and engineers with feedback and real-world data on the vehicle performance,” he says.

“The learning from the prototype will also feed into the Pilot Fleet vehicles that will support our customer’s understanding of the electrification of their fleets.

“But this is also a great example of the nimble and agile culture and approach we have at Volta Trucks. While traditional vehicle manufacturers take years to undertake market assessments, design processes and vehicle development, at Volta Trucks, we work at speed because we know that the world’s climate emergency cannot wait, and our customers need vehicles now,” Al-Saleh said.

“In six months, we have designed and developed a running prototype chassis and 18 months from now, we will be building series production vehicles for our customers,” he says.

“This is what they need, this is the speed they need us to work at, and this is what we’ll deliver.”