Concept: Swedish automotive startup Volta Trucks (Volta) has developed a prototype of a purpose-built full-electric large commercial vehicle for inner-city logistics. It has begun pilot testing of its Volta Zero Electric Truckin real-world using production specification components. The cargo hauler prototype is undergoing on-road evaluations at HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton, UK.

Nature of Disruption: Volta claims that it manufactured the prototype in eight months from design to the actual vehicle also named as ‘Volta Minus One’. The startup aims to transform urban deliveries, making them safer, cleaner, and sustainable. While the production vehicle will have a cargo box, the prototype employs a flatbed to allow engineers to evaluate the vehicle’s weight-carrying capacity by adding different levels and placements of cargoes. With its electric powertrain, the Volta Zero has 90% fewer mechanical parts than an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle, thereby projecting a lower total cost of ownership than an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle.

Outlook: Over the next few months, the prototype Volta Zero will be put through its trial. Cold-weather testing in the Arctic Circle and hot-weather testing in southern Europe are all part of the next round of prototype testing. Volta intends to apply its learnings from the testing program in its pilot fleet vehicles, which would be available to key customers for their testing. Then, full-scale production is scheduled for Dec’22.