With offices already located in Sweden, France and the United Kingdom, Volta Trucks is gearing up, if you will, to produce the world’s first fully electric, 16-ton truck engineered specifically for making deliveries to volume customers in urban areas, such as your grocery store, with a predicted range of 95 to 125 miles per charge. That’s a potentially big market, even if you’re only counting the EU. Accordingly, Volta has announced this week that it’s reached an understanding under which Steyr Automotive, based in the eponymous city in Austria, will assemble four Volta rigs ranging from 7.5 to 19 tons in capacity, with the potential to produce up to 27,000 new trucks per year by 2025.
With its declarative appearance and central driver’s position, the Volta Zero will be tapping into a deep well of automotive history by linking up with Steyr. Founded during the U.S. Civil War as a rifle manufacturer, Steyr followed interchangeable-parts practices into the world of building motor vehicles, the best known of which globally were arguably its trucks, first introduced in 1920. As Steyr-Daimler-Puch, the company built vehicles following World War II ranging from heavy MAN trucks assembled under licenses to the famed Pinzgauer off-road and the line of Puch scooters that Sears used to sell in the United States. More recently, the U.S. Army’s FMTV transporters – it stands for Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles – have included a heavy highway tractor based on a Steyr design. An offshoot of Steyr-Daimler-Puch, which was gradually dissolved, continues to manufacture firearms in Austria.