Hosted by Petit Forestier, Volta Trucks has brought its 16-ton Volta Zero distribution truck to Solutrans 2021. As time goes by, the targets set by the roadmap communicated by Volta Trucks are getting closer. This year, the first road tests have begun, both in France and in England, with 33 trucks currently being tested. At the same time, the first prototypes have already been built, while the deadline for series production is currently set for the end of 2022. At Solutrans, we met Anthony Buron, Business Development Manager for the French market, with whom we spoke about the evolution of the Volta Trucks project.
Volta Trucks: targets and models available in the near future
Anthony Buron, let’s start from the figures and forecasts…
«For 2023, we have planned a production of 5,000 vehicles. So far, about 2,500 vehicles have already been pre-ordered by customers (at the time of the interview, the agreement with DB Schenker had not yet been made official, ed). We want to go fast on the market, but also give customers the opportunity to test the vehicle. In 2023, we will only have the 16 ton model, while in 2024 there will be the 18 ton, and in 2025 we will have the 7.5 ton and the 12 ton: four models in total. The design of the various trucks will be basically the same, however the dimensions will be different».
Speaking of layout, has anything changed since a few months ago?
«Compared to our roadshow of the past few months, the vehicle is not much different. We have been listening to the feedbacks from users and we have intervened on the front of the vehicle, which was considered a bit too low for use in city centers, where the streets might not always be regular. In the final version of the Volta Zero, then, the electrical outlet will be moved to the back of the vehicle. We will also have a platform for loading and unloading, which we will implement at a later date».
Electric refrigeration unit
What kind of collaboration have you established with Petit Forestier?
«Petit Forestier is one of our main customers, with an order already placed for 1,000 vehicles addressed to France and beyond. We are currently present in 6 countries: France, Spain, England, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
The refrigerated version of the Volta Zero will join the ordinary one. The refrigeration unit is obviously electric and relies on the vehicle’s battery pack. Of course, in the refrigerated version the truck range is reduced by 15-20 percent».
Let’s talk about production. Is the production site in Steyr, Austria, confirmed?
«At the moment, the Volta Zero will be produced in Steyr. We assemble the truck starting from components produced by our suppliers, from Proterra for the batteries to Meritor for the electric axles, i.e. with integrated motors, up to the truck body which will have different manufacturers depending on whether it is a refrigerated or non-refrigerated vehicle.
We are able to produce 14,000 vehicles per year, a figure we want to reach as early as 2024, while by 2025, when we will also be present in the North American market, the figures will be expected to grow».