We mentioned a while back that Hyundai, known primarily on these shores for affordable cars and SUVs, is planning to expand its rest-of-the-world selection of heavy trucks to include a rig running on electric power only. It’s not the only company looking to offer a more environmentally friendly way of making bulk deliveries in congested cities with issues concerning breathable air. Here’s some evidence that Hyundai’s not alone in viewing clean trucks as a growth market. Volta Trucks is a Swedish startup, which also maintains facilities in the United Kingdom, that’s preparing to launch a big rig running exclusively on electrons.
The truck you see above is the Volta Zero, which the manufacturer describes as the first purpose-built all-electric commercial vehicle designed for high-payload freight and parcel delivery in urban environments. Under development since 2017, the Volta Zero will have a capacity of 16 tons, a full-electric range of up to 125 miles per charge, and is said to be able to eliminate and estimated 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. An initial prototype is now under construction in anticipation of a formal rollout early next month. The designers say the adoption of electric motors and batteries by the Volta Zero, instead of the normal diesel engine and transmission, has an unanticipated side benefit that relates to traffic safety. Look at the photo. Jettisoning the diesel freed up the room for the driver to be moved to a central seating position in the cab that’s much lower to the ground, and other vehicles, than the lofty perch in other trucks. The enormous expanse of windshield glass allows the driver 220 degrees of visibility, greatly reducing potential blind spots. Among Volta’s technical partners are racing suppliers including Magtec and Prodrive, the latter of which has designed and built sports endurance race cars for Aston Martin and World Rally Championship cars for Subaru. Volta Zero deliveries to evaluation customers are set to commence in early 2021.