European startup Volta Trucks unveiled the final prototype of a futuristic-looking, fully-electric urban commercial delivery vehicle on Nov 3. The 16-tonne (35,274 lb.) delivery truck is expected to go into limited production soon for real-world testing in 2022, the company announced.
The Volta Zero, created by Astheimer Design in Warwick, U.K., looks like a U.S. city bus at first glance. The cab and driver working area is designed to give drivers a better field of view—with large windows and a low, central seating position with a 220-degree view on city streets.
According to Volta, which unveiled its initial prototype of the truck in 2020, the electric truck offers 95-125 miles on a full charge.
“When the Volta Zero was revealed in September 2020, there were some who thought that its revolutionary, world-first design and packaging was just for show and could never be built for production,” said Ian Collins, Volta’s chief product officer, in a press release. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but our constant motivation was the opportunity that a completely reimagined truck had to improve both the safety of drivers and those vulnerable road users around large trucks operating in city centers.”
The company said it would produce the first 25 Volta Zeros to begin “comprehensive and rigorous testing” in early 2022. That testing will start with the truck maker’s engineers before the truck is passed on to customers for more real-world testing in mid-2022. Volta is also working on three other weight classes for the electric truck: 7.5-tonne (16,534 lb.), 12-tonne (26,455 lb.), and 18-tonne (39,683 lb.).
After prototype testing over the past year, Volta redesigned the Zero’s body panels for the final design. Designers also removed the horizontal frontal light bar and replaced the diagonal interface between the cab and the cargo box with a vertical line, which it said would improve vehicle construction efficiency. Internally, it updated the color and material palette from blond leather to charcoal and replaced the teak wood flooring with more hard-wearing rubber matting.
“Working in close collaboration with Astheimer’s design team and our engineers, we have delivered a modern, progressive, and elegant design—exactly as an electric vehicle conceived from the ground up should be,” Collins said in a statement. “The production-ready Volta Zero delivers a paradigm shift in commercial vehicle safety and sustainability, and I look forward to seeing the vehicles on the road early next year as our rigorous testing program starts.”
Volta Trucks is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with its engineering based in the U.K., and its manufacturing facility is in Steyr, Austria.