Volta Trucks is a startup founded in 2019, and it already has a promising project that aims to reduce CO2 emissions from city centers. The company is throwing its hat into the ring of zero-emission heavy vehicles with its first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle, Volta Zero. It is designed especially to reduce the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centers where existing pollution is worst.
Measuring 9.46 meters long, 2.55 m wide, and 3.4 m high, the vehicle features an advanced electric drivetrain that draws the power from 160-200 KWh battery pack. It promises a load capacity of 8.6 tons, an electric range of between 150 and 200 km (93-124 miles) and a maximum speed of between 80 and 90 km/h (50-56 mph).
Aesthetically, Volta Zero features a futuristic design dominated by rounded shapes, while its silhouette is focused on maximizing aerodynamics. It uses a sustainably sourced natural Flax material and biodegradable resins in the construction of exterior body panels. Also, the cab’s dark body panels and many interior trims constructed from the natural material.
Developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency, the high-tech Flax material consists of flax fibers mixed with biodegradable resins, resulting in a fully natural, extremely lightweight, high-performance fiber reinforcement that is almost CO2 neutral over its lifecycle. The panels can match the stiffness and weight of carbon fiber but use 75% less CO2 to produce.
Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position. Besides, the driver cab is low to the road – almost at ground level, with a wide, 220-degree field of vision of the urban environment. Also, there will be cameras instead of rear-view mirrors that avoid blind spots for the operator.
“Every Volta Zero will remove tonnes of CO2 from our city’s atmospheres, but we believe that sustainability is more than just tailpipe emissions, so we have taken an environmental-first approach to all material sourcing. This includes the world’s first use of a natural Flax and biodegradable resin composite in body panel construction that is CO2 neutral and fully recyclable. We will continue to strain every sinew to ensure we deliver on our mission of becoming the world’s most sustainable commercial vehicle manufacturer,” said Rob Fowler, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks.
The first prototype Volta Zero is currently being built and will be launched later in 2020, with the first pilot test vehicles due to start the evaluation with customers in the first quarter of 2021.
By 2025, the company aims to eliminate 180,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent annual CO2 usage of 24,000 houses. Thanks to its silent electric operation, the Volta Zero will also improve a city’s noise pollution and enable 24-hour usage for its operator.