IAA Voices: Interview with Volta Trucks

Image: Volta Trucks

Image: Volta Trucks

Volta Trucks is the leader in zero-emission transport, reducing the effects of global warming and making our cities safer, healthier and more pleasant for all. We deliver full-electric trucks and revolutionise vehicle ownership, supporting and accelerating industry towards sustainable operations.

Duncan Forrester, Chief Communications Officer; 8 years’ communications leadership experience with Volvo Cars, McLaren Automotive and Polestar. Image: Volta Trucks

What does Volta Trucks stand for and what should every trade fair visitor definitely know about the company?

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for urban 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 1.2M tonnes of CO2 by 2025, the equivalent annual CO2 usage of 170,000 houses. The Volta Zero benefits from an optimised load-carrying capacity, allowing operators to consolidate the same amount of goods into fewer delivery vehicles. This means that just one Volta Zero can remove up to five smaller trucks or vans from the roads, reducing congestion on city streets and improving air quality for all.

Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, with our ambition of producing the safest trucks for cities. Our trucks are designed from a blank sheet of paper to be the safest commercial vehicles for one simple reason: Transport for London’s own statistics show that 26% of pedestrian fatalities and 78% of cyclist deaths involve a truck, yet trucks only account for 4% of road miles. The Volta Zero was designed for electric from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, 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-degree field of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots. Driver comfort has been optimized by minimising cognitive overload. The cabin is contemporary and spacious, with intuitive user interfaces.

We also provide a unique solution to fleet electrification, de-risking the transition from diesel to electric. Our innovative Truck as a Service (TaaS) proposition revolutionises the ownership, financing and servicing of commercial vehicle fleets. TaaS delivers a frictionless way to migrate fleets of all sizes to electric, maximising their uptime and operational efficiency. For a single monthly fee, customers have access to the full-electric Volta Zero vehicle, its charging infrastructure, and all its servicing, maintenance, insurance and training requirements.

What is the company's most important project for 2022/23?

Following our recent successful and oversubscribed Series C funding round which saw a total investment of €230 million into the company, we will complete the development and testing of our Design Verification (DV) prototype fleet which will be followed by the build of a fleet of Product Verification (PV) vehicles that will be evaluated by customers in London and Paris in H2-2022. These PV prototype vehicles will be built at the company’s new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022. Many of these production-specification 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. Once complete, we look to commence series production of customer vehicles by the end of this year.

Image: Volta Trucks

The newly designed IAA TRANSPORTATION is a platform and meeting place for transport and logistics companies from all over the world. What makes the trade show so appealing to you?

As Volta Trucks transitions from start-up to a manufacturer of vehicles, we are introducing the full-electric Volta Zero to fleet managers and buyers of vehicles that really need zero emission vehices to operate in city centres, where these trucks are desperately needed. IAA TRANSPORTATION serves as the perfect platform to allow us to do so; this leading international event for logistics, commercial vehicles, buses and the transport sector brings together the word’s most innovative players to share and learn about the entire transport sector’s progress on climate-neutral and technological transformations.
Together with IAA, and all of its exhibitors and visitors, we share its motto of "People and Goods on the move", with our own that promotes electric trucks for sustainable cities, with people at the heart of everything we do.

What can visitors to your stand particularly look forward to?

Volta Trucks looks forwards to exhibiting a prototype Volta Zero. This full-electric medium duty commercial vehicle will revolutionise last-mile logistics through the delivery of safer and more sustainable full-electric trucks.

Visitors will be able to view the truck up close and experience its innovative cab, designed with the driver’s comfort and safety at the core. This features a low and central driving position, with a wide 220-degree field of visibility, accompanied by a premium, open and minimalist environment with intuitive and well-positioned touch screens. This driver-centric design approach creates a premium working environment for the driver, encouraging recruitment and retention for fleet operators – a significant challenge in today’s economic times.

In addition, we will be introducing a unique VR experience whereby visitors will be able to experience for themselves the difference in visibility between sitting inside a conventional cab and sitting inside a Volta Zero.

The coming years will be dominated by transformation. Where will the transport and logistics industry be in 2030 - and what milestones do you want to have achieved by then?

As part of Volta Trucks‘ Road-to-Zero Emissions strategy, we will launch three new full-electric trucks, to complement the existing 16-tonne Volta Zero, by 2025. These additional variants will come in 7.5-tonne, 12-tonne and 18-tonne electric trucks and would provide a comprehensive vehicle range with anticipated production volumes in excess of 27,000 units per year by 2025. Engineering development of the 18-tonne vehicles is being done simultaniously with the 16-tonne vehicle, and has already commenced for the 7.5- and 12-tonne Volta Zero.

All trucks will feature a low-seat central driving position and greenhouse-style cab with 220-degrees of visibility, along with an optimised payload, enabling fleet managers to use a reduced number of trucks and take several smaller vans off the road – helping to ease inner-city congestion.