Commercial EV maker Volta Trucks has just drawn up an ambitious roadmap for 2025 and plans to expand its vehicle portfolio, sales, markets and manufacturing facilities. In the from the manufacturer as “Road-to-Zero Emissions” Volta Trucks is focusing on decarbonising the logistics industry, starting with Europe. Expansions are now planned for North America and Asia.
Volta Trucks is a startup and service company for manufacturers of fully electric vehicles. Since it was founded in London in 2019, Volta has opened additional offices in Sweden and France. As a younger EV company, Volta focused on its first commercial EV, the Volta Zero. This 16-tonne electric truck serves as a last-mile delivery fleet for the city center.
In January, Volta announced additional funding of $ 20 million, bringing Volta Zero’s backlog to over $ 260 million. Investors and fleet managers alike see potential in the startup’s first zero-emission commercial vehicle. With these growing orders, Volta Trucks has recognized the unexpectedly high demand and is now planning a faster expansion in almost all areas of its business.
Volta Trucks plans a major expansion by 2025
In a robust press release today, Volta Trucks announced several rapid expansions to its business model, covering everything from additional vehicle options to entering new markets. A number of factors contributed to this decision. In addition to a growing number of orders for the company’s flagship, the Volta Zero diesel-powered 16-ton commercial vehicles will be banned in European cities like Paris until 2024. This correlates with a global focus on reducing vehicle emissions demand for reliable commercial electric vehicles and quickly.
In addition, based on its own independent research, Volta assumes that the global addressable total market for fully electric trucks in the 7.5 to 19 tonne category will exceed 100 billion US dollars by the end of 2025. As a result, Volta Trucks has now split its design for expansion to capture some of this market demand.
The Volta Zero Truck Test in Madrid
Three other versions of the Volta Zero Truck
Volta describes its Zero truck as the world’s first fully electric 16-tonne special vehicle for inner-city freight deliveries. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of cargo deliveries in city centers, starting in Europe. In 2020 the Volta Zero was just a sketch but turned into a drivable prototype in less than 12 months.
Building on the success of the Zero, Volta Trucks has expansion plans for its product portfolio that include three additional variants within the middle and lower classes of the heavy-duty class. The company will now add 7.5-ton, 12-ton, and 19-ton trucks to complement the original 16-ton Volta Zero.
The 16-ton version is currently in the development phase. The first prototype tests are scheduled to begin shortly. The introduction of the pilot fleets is planned for the end of this year. Full production will begin towards the end of 2022. Volta’s next focus will be production of the 16- and 19-ton options from 2023.
At the same time, customer trials should begin with the 7.5-ton Volta Zero, which will begin production in late 2024. With this ambitious expansion plan, Volta could move from producing zero electric vehicles in 2021 to full-fledged production of four different “zeros”. Electric vehicles in 2025.
A look at the three additional variants of the Volta Zero
Volta Trucks expects a significant increase in sales
As mentioned earlier, Volta Trucks had orders valued at over $ 260 million last January, which the company said only grew along with customer interest in the 16-ton Volta Zero. As a result, Volta Trucks has announced plans to further expand its Europe-first strategy and then expand into the North American and Asian markets.
Volta’s orders are testament to the significant market demand for all-electric commercial vehicles, supported by both customer needs and federal regulations. As a result, Volta has set new goals to sell more than 27,000 units per year by the end of 2025 and plans to continue expanding from there. Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, explains:
When we launched the Volta Zero, we expected to sell 5,000 vehicles per year with a single model by 2025. Given our pace of development, which is determined by customer demand, we clearly see the opportunity to expand the Volta Zero into a portfolio of vehicles to offer customers a wider range of all-electric vehicle sizes and to accelerate the transition to zero emissions. This leads us to far more ambitious sales expectations as more than five times the number of vehicles will be built compared to our original proposal. Over 27,000 vehicles will be sold annually through 2025, and the volume will continue to grow thereafter. To achieve these ambitious goals and timelines, we will be very nimble and agile to ensure our speed to market. We will also need a network of world class manufacturing facilities. I am delighted that we have recently shown interest in building Volta Zeros in Barcelona and are investigating several other facilities in Europe, Asia and North America to ensure we can keep up with demand.
Successful expansion means shortened supply chains
From what the company has shared, it wasn’t even anticipating massive demand for its Volta Zero truck. In order to expand its fleet and enter new markets so quickly, a lot of clever planning and short supply chains are required. Volta Trucks explains its situation in detail in its press release:
Given its sustainability ambitions, Volta Trucks will pursue a network manufacturing strategy with a number of assembly facilities spread across key regions to minimize unnecessary transportation and costs. The company recently announced that it has shown an interest in manufacturing vehicles for the Decarbonization Hub project at Nissan’s former manufacturing facility in Barcelona. Vehicles made in Spain could potentially serve southern European markets, but would not be the first vehicles built. The company is considering a number of additional manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America and Asia to achieve the significant volume increases envisaged in the plan.
Once again, Volta Trucks has lofty goals for quick expansion, but it definitely has a playbook ready. Now we have to see if the manufacturer can get its 16-ton Volta Zero into production first and then achieve its additional benchmarks from there.
You have to love the ambition here. Volta Trucks hopes to move from an EV startup that hasn’t even shipped its first production EV trucks to full production of four electric trucks in the next four years. Oh, and they also want to expand overseas at the same time.
We have to respect it, but with caution. The goal of many young EV companies is to promise too much and deliver too little … or deliver at a much later time. However, it was refreshing to hear Volta’s own CEO admit that their original goal was one vehicle and 5,000 units by 2025, and now they feel able to produce more than five times that.
Of course, we don’t have access to Volta’s order book or financial data, but there has to be a promise of specific orders and financial prospects for the company to set such bold goals. We remain skeptical because we’ve been burned before, but we’re on our way to Volta. If they are successful and can accelerate the implementation of commercial electric vehicles in Europe and other continents, everyone wins. We are here for that.
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