Volta Zero to provide zero emission deliveries to residents in central London
Electric vehicle manufacturer Volta Trucks has teamed up with The Crown Estate in the UK and retail logistics company Clipper Logistics to trial the new 16-tonne Volta Zero, which is set to enter series production in late 2022. The news follows DB Schenker’s order of nearly 1,500 Volta Zero’s in November 2021.
The Crown Estate, a collection of lands and holdings in the UK belonging to the British monarch, will trial the Volta Zero in summer 2022 in London’s West End where the estate’s portfolio spans 10 million sq ft and comprises all of Regent Street and around half of St James’s.
The Volta Zero will work as part of The Crown Estate’s delivery consolidation scheme for Regent Street customers. The scheme, launched as a first-of-its-kind in 2008 alongside Clipper Logistics, sees multiple individual goods consolidated in a hub just outside of London’s congestion charge zone and then delivered to end customers. With this approach, delivery journeys into Regent Street are reduced and congestion, sustainability and retailer efficiency are all improved.
Judith Everett, Executive Director for Purpose, Sustainability and Stakeholder at The Crown Estate, said: “This partnership is another important step towards reducing congestion, improving air quality, and making our streets safer and more accessible across the West End. It will be a win-win for us and our customers, helping support their deliveries and our joint sustainability ambitions. It builds on our continued work to trial and test to see what works best for everyone using our streets, now and in the future.”
Volta Trucks’ CEO, Essa Al-Saleh added that the full-electric Volta Zero has been specifically designed for zero-emission urban distribution “with exactly The Crown Estate and Clipper Logistics’ use case in mind.” He continued: “And with 8.6-tonnes of payload, it was created to consolidate deliveries and reduce congestion of smaller vehicles on city centre streets.”
Sweden-based Volta Trucks was founded in 2017 with a clear aim: to decarbonise last-mile logistics and make city centre environments safer, more pleasant, and sustainable places to live and work. With this goal in mind, the company launched the Volta Zero demonstrator in September 2020, with work on the production vehicle commencing in January 2021. By December 2021, the first road-going prototype had been completed.
Production verification vehicles will be built in mid-2022 at the Volta Trucks contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria, for customer evaluation and extensive testing, ahead of the start of series production in late 2022.
The electric Volta Zero has an 8.6-tonne payload, a range of between 95 and 125 miles, depending on operating conditions, and has been developed from the ground-up to meet the needs of inner-city logistics. It has also been developed with safety in mind and has a glasshouse-style cab, which maximises driver visibility.
Volta Zero features integrated navigation services from HERE Technologies, including the EV Range Assistant, which has been tailored for inner-city deliveries. It includes range prediction for trucks on route and allows for route planning including multiple delivery stops. It also enables drivers to use innovative geolocation technology, what3words.
The integration of HERE Navigation allows Volta Trucks to take advantage of the navigation-as-a-service model to deliver a simplified infotainment supply chain and development process.
DB Schenker partnership
In addition to The Crown Estate and Clipper partnership, Volta Trucks is also working with logistics provider DB Schenker to test the Zero. The contract, which was announced late last year, includes the pre-order of nearly 1,500 full-electric Volta Zero vehicles – the most significant order for large zero-emission trucks in Europe to date. DB Schenker will use the first prototype of Volta Zero in real distribution conditions in spring and summer of 2022. The findings from these tests will be incorporated into the serial production of a further 1,470 vehicles.
This partnership will also jointly develop specifications for the previously announced 12-tonne Volta Zero variant, conducting site testing to accelerate vehicle deployment of vehicles. Volta Trucks is also working on 7.5-tonne and 18-tonne variants of the Zero.
Ian Collins, Chief Product Officer of Volta Trucks, concluded: “When the Volta Zero was revealed in September 2020, there were some who thought that its revolutionary, world-first design and packaging was just for show and could never be built for production. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but our constant motivation was the opportunity that a completely reimagined truck had to improve both the safety of drivers, and those vulnerable road users around large trucks operating in city centres.
“Working in close collaboration with Astheimer’s design team and our engineers, we have delivered a modern, progressive, and elegant design – exactly as an electric vehicle conceived from the ground up should be. The production-ready Volta Zero delivers a paradigm shift in commercial vehicle safety and sustainability, and I look forward to seeing the vehicles on the road early next year as our rigorous testing programme starts.”