Volta Trucks has revealed the strategic roadmap for its entry into the North American market. Volta’s plan will see the first Volta Zero vehicles operating on Los Angeles’ streets by the end of next year.
The introduction of Volta Trucks’ 100% battery-electric commercial vehicles into North America will be led in 2023 by a Volta Zero Class 7 truck which is equivalent to the existing European 16-ton truck, with a dry or refrigerated cargo box. The Volta Zero is a purpose-built 100% battery-electric medium-duty truck specifically designed for urban logistics. The ground-up design of the Volta Zero uses an innovative compact eAxle, comprising the electric motor, transmission, and axle all in one unit, supplied by Michigan-based Meritor, and high-voltage batteries located within the chassis rails – their safest possible location – from California-based Proterra, the company says.
Volta Trucks will initially introduce a pilot fleet of 100 Class 7 trucks in mid-2023 that will be evaluated by U.S. customers, starting in Los Angeles in mid-2023, with additional cities to follow, ahead of a rollout of production vehicles in 2024. To date, Volta Trucks has built 24 road-going “Design Verification” prototypes which are currently undergoing testing in Europe, the company says. Ahead of the introduction in North America, the company expects to have already built more than 1,500 full-electric Class 7 trucks for European customers.
As a vehicle specifically designed for urban logistics, the Class 7 Volta Zero will offer a modular battery configuration to deliver a range of 95-125 miles. The vehicle is designed to accept both AC and DC 250 kW fast charging, which delivers a full charge from empty in just over an hour. Alternatively, one hour of 19 kW AC standard charging will add around 12 miles of driving range.
The 33,000 lbs. Class 7 Volta Zero introduction will be closely followed by a Class 5 vehicle of 19,500lbs., and a Class 6 truck of 26,000lbs., equivalent to the European 7.5- and 12-ton vehicles, in 2024/2025.
Class 5 and 6 Volta Zeros, revealed in April 2022, will bear a close visual relationship to the Class 7 vehicle. All Volta Zeros benefit from the same world-class safety standards of the Class 7 vehicle, as well as its zero-emission powertrain, eliminating not only CO2 emissions but also harmful particulates that cause local air quality and health issues, the company says. The Class 5 and 6 trucks will be identical to each other from the front, with the Class 6 vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and a second set of rear wheels and tires, to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.
Work is now underway to kick off initial U.S.-based manufacturing with an experienced partner, with agreements expected later in 2022. The first Class 7 vehicles delivered to the U.S. will be built at the company’s existing contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, with all Class 5 and 6 vehicles for North America expected to be built in the U.S., starting in 2024/25, the company says.