Last updated on April 22nd, 2020 at 11:33 am
While most of us are focused on consumer vehicles and imagining how an electric vehicle revolutionise our day-to-day activities, there is a huge market that has yet to see much benefit from pure EVs. Business consulting firm Grand View Research, estimates the global market value for commercial vehicles to top $2.2 trillion by the end of 2025.
The vast majority will be light commercial vehicles (estimated at around 75% of the market), a sizeable number will also be heavy trucks, buses and coaches. WhichEV looks at one company that's hoping to win a chunk of that change.
Located 30km north-west of Stockholm, Volta Trucks was founded by Kjell Walöen and Carl-Magnus Norden, both of whom describe themselves as serial entrepreneurs. Their concept is to develop and launch a 16-ton, electric heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that will be ready for demonstrations in 2020; with orders coming in 2021 and a manufacturing target of 2,000 vehicles a year shortly thereafter.
Engineering expertise is provided by British engineering firm, Prodrive, that's based in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Prodrive was formed in 1984 by former World Rally Championship winner David Richards. Today's Managing Director of the Prodrive Motorsport division is John Gaw, who has grown Aston Martin Racing into the world's largest works and customer sports car operation. Serious pedigree.
The vehicle is expected to have a range of 100 miles, with a top speed of 50mph, with a chassis and suspension suited to negotiating the challenges of modern city transport and delivery.
Not only is the Volta Trucks concept designed to be practical, but there has also been a strong emphasis on safety. The front cabin situates the driver at pedestrian level, with a 220-degree view through the large front windows. When you consider that 23% of pedestrian and 58% of cyclist deaths are caused by HGVs, this focus on safety is understandable. Find out more about safety on UK roads by reading our dedicated article.
Volta's own documentation discusses the dual-threat of diesel and death – both of which are combated by the new truck. The design has been augmented by the inclusion of Astheimer, specialists in automotive design, and Conjure – an award-winning design and technology studio – has been brought in to create an advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI).
Field trials are expected to start in Paris and London by the middle of 2021. We are looking forward to seeing this kind of vehicle replace large, noisy, smelly HGVs on our roads. Let us know what you make of this up and coming HGV, in the comments below.