British EV startup Volta Trucks has just unveiled its first ready-to-drive prototype chassis, which will form the framework for its upcoming purpose-built 16-tonne electric truck. The newly announced prototype chassis of the Volta Zero Truck has been designed and built to contain the frame and drivetrain components of the series specification that consumers will eventually see in the finished vehicle. With big goals for 2025, this announcement brings Volta Trucks one step closer to delivering inner-city logistics to the masses.

Volta Trucks is a startup and service company for a manufacturer 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-ton electric truck serves as a last-mile delivery fleet for city centers.

In January, Volta announced additional funding of $ 20 million, bringing Volta Zero’s backlog to over $ 260 million. With these growing orders, Volta Trucks recognized its above-expected demand and last May announced faster expansion in almost all areas of its business, including three more versions of the Volta Zero Truck.

With today’s announcement, Volta remains in its sights to begin series production of the original 16-tonne Volt Zero next year.

The upcoming Volta Zero Truck

Volta Trucks shares the ongoing zero chassis prototype

In a press release from Volta Trucks, the British startup gave us a first look at a 16-tonne zero truck chassis prototype. Previously, we saw footage of the first demonstrator truck, which debuted with the introduction of the Volta Zero Truck in 2020.

However, this new chassis prototype is equipped with the frame specifications and powertrain components that should be present in the production version of the electric truck. This allows the next variant to travel at normal road speeds.

In addition to an electric motor and a gear unit, this prototype chassis will also contain a battery supplied by Proterra and an integrated e-axle from Meritor. According to the press release, the Volta Zero will be the first commercial vehicle in Europe to use the e-axle.

Volta Zero Truck Chassis next step in faster time

If you haven’t followed Volta Trucks yet, where have you been? Just kidding, but seriously, the company has come a long way in the over two years since it was founded. Keep in mind that the Volta Zero Truck went from sketch to prototype demonstrator in less than 12 months and is now 18 months away from full production.

That gives Volta a lot to do by 2025, in addition to three variations. Commenting on the announcement and the company’s ambitious timelines, Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of the company:

The unveiling of our first ready-to-drive prototype of the Volta Zero chassis is an important milestone on our way to the production of the first customer-specific vehicles in around 18 months. The prototype will provide feedback and real-world data on vehicle performance to our designers and engineers. The findings from the prototype will also flow into the Pilot Fleet vehicles, which support our customers’ understanding of the electrification of their fleets. But this is also a great example of the agile and agile culture and approach that we have at Volta Trucks. While traditional vehicle manufacturers need years to carry out market assessments, design processes and vehicle developments, we at Volta Trucks are working flat out because we know that the global climate emergency cannot wait and our customers now need vehicles. In six months we have designed and developed a ready-to-drive prototype chassis and in 18 months we will be building series vehicles for our customers. That is what they need, that is the speed at which we have to work and that is what we will deliver.

The prototype chassis will next begin a comprehensive test program on proving grounds. The results will then feed into the production of a pilot fleet of vehicles expected by the end of the year.

Series production of the customized Volta Zero Trucks is planned until the end of 2022.

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You have to at least applaud Volta fTrucks or dream big and set yourself these ambitious goals. Whether or not they hit them remains to be seen, but perhaps more companies should set their targets higher to help reduce carbon emissions faster. That terrible sense of global urgency persists, you know.

Despite being a young company, it has stayed on track with its benchmarks and has even added new goals to itself. The focus is initially on the 16-ton Volta Zero, the original truck announced by the start-up.

Having a running chassis with the frame and key components from the production version EV is a big step, but it will take a lot of testing and retesting before we see shipments in 2022.

With this in mind, according to Volta, everything seems to be going according to plan. If the order book has something to say about this, the impact of Volta Zero on urban streets could be huge if the company hits its 2025 target with size variations. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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