Volta Trucks, the new British commercial electric truck startup, has decided to get its vehicle batteries from Proterra, which just opened a next-gen battery production factory in California in December.
The company claims that the Volta Zero will be “the world’s first purpose-built, full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city freight distribution.” The battery pack was reportedly the last component Volta needed to decide on for the Zero, and this selection will leave the Volta Zero with 200 km (125 miles) of driving range on a full charge.
“Proterra batteries feature passive and active safety features, liquid thermal conditioning, and adheres to state-of-the-art functional safety standards, including ISO 26262 (up to ASIL C). The Proterra battery is designed to deliver over 4,000 recharge cycles over 10 years, without significant degradation, to ensure the longevity of the vehicle,” Volta Trucks states.
The company expects the Volta Zero to begin customer trials in the second half of 2021, and within 12 months of those initial trials, it hopes to have sold tens of thousands of these electric trucks.
With this deal, after more than 17 million miles on roads in the United States and Canada, Proterra will be entering the European market for the first time.
“I’m delighted to welcome Proterra — a world-class innovative engineering partner — to the supply chain for the Volta Zero,” Rob Fowler, CEO of Volta Trucks, noted. “When talking to our extensive group of customers, vehicle range is uppermost in their minds as it sits at the heart of the vehicle’s ability to deliver for them. It was therefore imperative that we work with an industry-leader to ensure the quality, longevity, and safe performance of the battery. Proterra’s cutting-edge but well-proven battery technology perfectly delivers all of this for us and our customers.”
Top executives from Proterra also provided some thoughts, but they are focused on cleaning up the air and climate rather than any technical matters.
“Embracing clean, quiet transportation for all not only benefits how we move people around cities and towns, but also how we provide goods and services to the communities we live in. Proterra is excited to work with Volta Trucks as we accelerate the transition to 100% clean transportation and deliver Proterra Powered clean energy vehicles to communities across Europe,” Jack Allen, Proterra Chief Executive Officer, said.
“Proterra and Volta Trucks share a common vision of clean, healthy communities served by zero-emission, electric vehicles,” Gareth Joyce, President of Proterra Powered and Energy, added. “We look forward to building our relationship together as we support Volta Trucks in the development of the revolutionary Volta Zero commercial vehicle.”
Volta Trucks just made its French debut on Monday. One of the first buyers there is a company called Swoopin (image above of a Swoopin Volta One). Swoopin is a sustainable transportation and urban logistics firm.
Part of the impetus for a move into Paris is the simple yet effective method of banning fossil fuel vehicles. “Under current legislation, internal combustion engine commercial vehicles will be banned from operating in Paris from 2024 as all French cities of more than 150,000 residents adopt new Low Emissions Zones. As part of this legislation, the French government is offering incentives of up to €50,000 for the transition to zero emission commercial vehicles, making the acceleration of fleet electrification of paramount importance to French fleet operators.” Paris won’t be the last city to ban entry by fossil fuel powered vehicles. In fact, as more options come onto the market (like the new Volta Zero), as technology continues to improve, and as people and businesses get more comfortable with the idea of electric transport — and hands-on demos or experience.
“With the imminent changes in legislation in French cities, it’s clear that the adoption of electric commercial vehicles needs to accelerate very quickly,” Fowler noted. “Currently there is a real shortage of electrified products on offer to fleet operators, but with the Volta Zero, we can show our important French customers that we have a compelling solution that meets their needs.”
It seems we should prepare for more good news from Volta in the coming months as it gets its first vehicles on the road there and secures more business partnerships/sales. Most importantly, though, stay tuned for more announcements about fossil fuel vehicle bans from city centers.