5 minutes with Duncan Forrester, Chief Communications Officer, Volta Trucks

11 November 2021 #Uncategorised

When will the first Volta Zero demonstrator be ready?
We already have rolling chassis prototypes running on Proving Grounds, and we’ve extracted huge amounts of data from those vehicles. Next month, we start production of a fleet of 25 ‘Design Verification’ (DV) road-going prototypes that will embark on a rigorous testing regime. This will involve Volta Trucks engineers replicating a customer’s usage and delivery cycles, as well as taking the Volta Zero to the extremes, all to confirm the safety, reliability, and durability of the vehicle. The results of the comprehensive DV testing programme will be fed into the final prototype stage – ‘Production Verification’ (PV). The PV prototype vehicles will be built at our new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022. These prototypes will be lent to selected customers for extended periods to be tested in their real-world logistics conditions, undertaking millions of delivery kilometres, alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineers.

When will we see the Volta Zero on UK roads permanently?
We start production of customer specification vehicles in Steyr by the end of 2022, so we should expect to see full-electric Volta Zero vehicles on the streets of London and Paris, our first two launch cities, very soon afterwards.

Tell us about the technical specification of the Volta Zero?
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 150 – 200 kms (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025. Having designed the Volta Zero from the ground up as a full-electric vehicle, we have placed safety at the heart of the vehicle with an ambition of producing the safest trucks for our cities. The revolutionary design facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. 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 and maximising visual communication between driver and the vulnerable road users outside the truck.

What sector of the market is the Volta Zero aimed at?
The Volta Zero is clearly targeted at the middle- and last-mile logistics sector, focused on urban and city-centre distribution. This is where air quality is at its worst, that zero emission vehicles have an immediate effect on, and that’s where, today, the most serious health and safety issues with large trucks exist. This sector also suits the range of full-electric vehicles, with customers telling us that the 200kms range of the Volta Zero is more than sufficient for their needs.

Volta recently displayed the Zero at Freight in the City. What was the feedback like from attendees?
Freight in the City was the latest in a long line of customer events and roadshows that we’ve presented the Volta Zero at, and the response to our purpose-built vehicle concept has been overwhelming. We’ve undertaken over 1,000 customer demonstrations of the vehicle, even through the pandemic, and have taken over 2,500 pre-orders from customers. We’ve got a long way to go, but this tells us that the product and Truck as a Service offering we’ve created fits with their needs for zero emission commercial vehicles.

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