Volta Trucks has started testing a prototype version of the Zero 16-tonne electric truck ahead of its launch in December 2022.
Named the “Volta Minus One” by development engineers, as the forerunner to the production-specification model, the prototype vehicle uses the proposed production specification chassis frame and drivetrain and will test all the electro-mechanical and thermal properties of the truck.
Testing is taking place at Horiba Mira in Nuneaton, UK, initially, before periods of cold weather testing north of the Arctic Circle, and hot weather testing in southern Europe take place.
Ian Collins, chief product officer of Volta Trucks, said: “The start of testing and evaluation of the first prototype Volta Zero is a major milestone on our journey towards production, and an exciting time for all of the Volta Trucks team and our customers.
“To have achieved this landmark moment in just eight months is a great example of the nimble and agile approach we have at Volta Trucks. We work at high pace to ensure that we can bring zero emission, full-electric commercial vehicles to market quickly, because our customers require vehicles as soon as possible.
“We need to go through a comprehensive and thorough development programme, but the start of prototype testing is evidence that we are on track to deliver production vehicles, on time, by the end of next year.”
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics. It’s expected to provide a range of 95 to 125 miles and can carry an 8,600Kg payload.
The production vehicle will feature a cargo box design, but the prototype uses a flatbed to allow engineers to add different levels and locations of loads to test its weightcarrying capacity.
Learnings from the first round of testing will be taken into the production of a Pilot Fleet of vehicles that will be tested and evaluated by key customers who have signed up for both testing and the option to purchase series production trucks.