Commercial electric vehicle startup Volta Trucks has taken another step forward in its plans to install specially designed 16-ton electric haulers on city streets. Production of the first prototypes of the Volta Zero for the road has started at a bespoke factory in Coventry, UK.
Renderings of the Volta Zero first appeared in mid-2020, followed by the first rolling demonstrator in September of that year and real-world chassis and drivetrain testing in August of this year.
Earlier this month, the company lifted the veil on the final production-ready design, created in partnership with Astheimer Design, which was visually very close to the renderings and the demo vehicle although all of the panels in bodywork have undergone an update and overhaul.
Other small tweaks included removing the horizontal light bar up front, the straight diagonal line dividing the body, and the cabin was replaced with a more slanted flavor, with the color scheme inside the cabin turned towards the dark side and the luxurious teak floor give way to resistant rubber mats. The low, middle seats for the driver were left unchanged, as were the 220 degrees of visibility offered by the expansive cabin glass.
Designed to meet the logistics needs of city centers, the vehicle will have a top speed limited to 90 km / h (56 mph) and up to 200 kWh of on-board battery for 200 km (125 miles) of range per charged.
The design verification prototypes currently assembled at Coventry will constitute a fleet of 25 test vehicles that will be tested in replicated use and delivery scenarios, run in extreme weather conditions and undergo validation in the event of collision, safety and reliability.
The data from these tests will inform the construction of production verification prototypes to be manufactured at Volta’s new plant in Steyr, Austria, by the middle of next year. These vehicles will undergo extensive testing by selected customers, prior to the deployment of vehicles meeting production specifications before the end of 2022.
Source: Volta Trucks