The start of testing follows soon after the reveal of the first prototype chassis of the Volta Zero – the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics.
As WhichEV reported, the truck will have a 160 to 200 kWh battery size and a range of 90 to 125 miles, with a top speed of 56 mph. It is estimated that it will eliminate around 180,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
The prototype vehicle uses the proposed production specification chassis frame and drivetrain of the finished vehicle and will test all the electro-mechanical and thermal properties of the truck.
This includes the high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and the compact rear axle, electric motor and transmission eAxle unit from Meritor. The unconventional bodywork of the prototype is purely designed to protect the development driver from the elements when the vehicle is moving at speed.
The prototype Volta Zero will continue testing at HORIBA MIRA over the coming months. Later-specification prototypes will be tested over periods of cold weather north of the Arctic Circle, and during hot weather in southern Europe. The comprehensive programme will ensure that the production-specification Volta Zero vehicles deliver the durability and reliability expected by fleet operators and vehicle owners.
These learnings will be taken into the production of Pilot Fleet 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.
Chief Product Officer of Volta Trucks, Ian Collins, has explained that these tests represent a major step in the right direction.
“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,” he said. “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.”