Volta Trucks to debut all-electric Volta Zero at ACT Expo as highlight of US launch plan

Volta Trucks, a leading and disruptive all-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, has confirmed the US launch and first public display of the all-electric Volta Zero. This will take place at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo between May 1-4, as Volta Trucks further develops its launch plans for the US market.

The ACT Expo takes place near Los Angeles in Anaheim, California, and is the world’s largest event dedicated to alternative-fuel commercial vehicles for vehicle manufacturers and commercial transport providers. 

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Volta Trucks will present a Class 7 Volta Zero design-verification prototype at booth 6895. Volta Trucks executives and product experts will be on hand to discuss the all-electric truck, as well as the company’s ‘Truck as a Service’ subscription model and vehicle charging.

Volta Trucks in the US market

The introduction of Volta Trucks’ all-electric commercial vehicles into North America will be led in 2023 by the Class 6 and Class 7 Volta Zero (equivalent to the existing European 16-ton truck), which will be available with an ambient or refrigerated cargo box.

In late 2023, Volta Trucks will launch a US-based Driving Experience Program for fleet operators to evaluate a Pilot Fleet of Volta Zeros in real distribution environments to understand how the electric delivery trucks will integrate into their operations. A similar program is currently launching across six European countries. The Programme in the US will start on the West Coast, ahead of a rollout of production vehicles expected in 2024.

Purpose-built for urban logistics

The Volta Zero is the first purpose-built all-electric medium-duty truck specifically designed for urban logistics. The ground-up design of the Volta Zero uses an innovative compact eAxle, comprising the electric motor, transmission and axle all in one unit, supplied by Michigan-based Accelera by Cummins, and high-voltage batteries located within the chassis rails – their safest possible location – from California-based Proterra.

As a vehicle specifically designed for urban logistics, the Class 6 and Class 7 15-ton Volta Zero will offer a modular battery configuration to deliver a range of 95 – 125 miles – more than enough for downtown distribution routes.

Designed for safer roads

Commercial vehicles compose a small portion of city traffic but have historically been involved in a disproportionate number of accidents with vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. 

Thanks to the electric powertrain that allowed the company’s designers to create a new vehicle concept from the ground up, the Volta Zero has been designed with a glasshouse-style cab with a 220-degree direct view around the vehicle. This provides blind-spot reduction and a lower centre-mounted driving position that enables eye-level connection with all road users.

The driver enters and exits the vehicle on either side, always onto the pavement (sidewalk) for their own safety, and through sliding rather than swinging doors, to also ensure the safety of passing cyclists. All Volta Zeros benefit from the same world-class safety standards, as well as zero-tailpipe emission powertrains, eliminating not only CO2 emissions but also harmful particulates that diminish local air quality and contribute to health issues.

Volta Zero, by Class

The Class 6 and Class 7 Volta Zero introduction is scheduled to be closely followed by a Class-5 vehicle of 19,500 lb. and a Class-6 truck of 26,000 lb., equivalent to the European 7.5- and 12-ton vehicles, in 2026.

Class-5 and 6 Volta Zeros, revealed in April 2022, will bear a close visual relationship to the Class 7 vehicle. The Class-5 and 6 trucks will be very similar to each other from the front, with the Class-6 vehicle having a longer chassis and body, and a second set of rear wheels and tyres to accommodate the increased vehicle payload.

Easing EV adoption: Truck as a Service (TaaS) and Volta Trucks Hubs

Volta Trucks understands the complexities that fleet operators face with the transition to electrification. In response, the company offers its innovative ‘Truck as a Service’ proposition, which accelerates the adoption of electric commercial vehicles by delivering a frictionless and hassle-free way to electrify fleets, while de-risking the migration for fleet operators. 

Truck as a Service supports every step of the electrification migration by offering a single, affordable, monthly fee that funds the use of an all-electric Volta Zero vehicle, and all of its servicing, maintenance, finance, insurance and training requirements, maximising the operational efficiency of the vehicle.

Using the same approach as it has adopted in Europe, Volta Trucks will develop its own US-based ‘Volta Trucks Hubs’ for vehicle service and maintenance. Hubs will be located close to its customers’ own logistics centres to maximise uptime and convenience. The company will also develop an extensive network of certified service partner facilities to increase the geographic coverage of service and maintenance outlets.

Essa Al-Saleh, Volta Trucks CEO, said: “I’m delighted to be able to show the all-electric Volta Zero in the important US market at ACT Expo in California. We’re building on the key learnings from our European launch, where we’ve developed at speed and scale, with deep understanding of our customers’ needs, to accelerate the transition to electric commercial vehicles and help decarbonise city centres. 

“The US faces the same safety and sustainability issues we are addressing in Europe and is a significant market opportunity for us. This marks the start of our journey in the US and we are excited to bring road-certified vehicles for US customers to evaluate later this year.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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