Commercial vehicle manufacturer Volta Trucks has begun engineering evaluation and development testing of the first prototype Volta Zero at automotive engineering consultancy HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton, UK.
Affectionately named Volta Minus One by development engineers, the prototype uses the proposed production-spec chassis frame and drivetrain of the finished vehicle, and will be used to test all the electromechanical components of the truck, including the a battery pack supplied by Proterra and an integrated eAxle unit from Meritor.
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 weight-carrying capacity.
The prototype will undergo testing at HORIBA MIRA for several months, as well as cold-weather testing north of the Arctic Circle and hot-weather testing in southern Europe. These learnings will inform the production of Pilot Fleet vehicles that will be tested and evaluated by Volta customers. Full-scale production of customer-spec vehicles is scheduled to follow at the end of 2022.
The Volta Zero is a purpose-built 16-ton EV designed specifically for inner-city logistics. It’s expected to offer a range of 95-125 miles. Safety features include a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a legacy truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver 220 degrees of visibility, minimizing blind spots.
“The start of testing and evaluation of the first prototype Volta Zero is a major milestone on our journey towards production,” said Chief Product Officer Ian Collins. “To have achieved this landmark moment in just eight months is a great example of [our] nimble and agile approach. We work at a 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.”
Source: Volta Trucks