Pioneering electric truck design from Swedish startup Volta Trucks will be highlighted at Freight in the City in London next month.
The technology firm is developing fully electric trucks for commercial use within and around urban areas and aims to ensure safety by design, while removing air and sound pollution from city streets.
Founded in May 2019 by CEO Carl-Magnus Norden and CTO Kjell Walöen and headquartered in Stockholm, Volta will be unveiling its first prototype vehicle at the start of summer 2020.
On-road trials will be carried out in partnership with selected retailers in London and Paris in 2021.
Volta trucks will be custom-made according to order requirements, and feature a ‘Truck-as-a-Service’ rental model.
The electric trucks are zero-emission and said to make 50% less noise than traditional diesel counterparts.
Volta plans to “radically redesign” urban trucks to boost safety in built-up operating environments.
The driver’s seat is positioned in the centre of the cabin, creating an increased field of direct vision and allowing for entry and exit through sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle, away from passing traffic. With the cabin positioned at street level, this also works to improve the vision of the driver, protecting cyclists and pedestrians, while preventing injuries caused from jumping out and climbing back into the truck.
Volta also wants to provide a solution to noise pollution from HGVs, which currently face time restrictions at night and during weekends in residential areas, potentially unlocking extra delivery windows for operators.
Carl-Magnus Norden, CEO and founder of Volta Trucks, said: “HGVs are a significant contributor to pollution in urban areas and due to archaic, clunky designs, these have also grown to become some of the greatest safety hazards to pedestrians and cyclists.
“Innovation within transportation is underway, but the logistics and retail industries, though willing to change, are moving slowly due to a lack of good alternatives and so struggling to keep up with new regulations.
“Making it easier for fleet operators to go electric and improve the safety of the vehicles they use, we see that we are able to speed up the pace of positive change, to ensure safer and less-polluted cities. ”
Reducing the total cost of ownership for fleet operators, Volta vehicles are available through a ‘Truck-as-a-Service’ rental model, with contracts of seven years. An all-inclusive model is offered, including full installation of infrastructure, electricity, driver training, insurance, and repair services.
In developing its vehicles, Volta Trucks is working with industry partners including Prodrive, a world-leading motorsport and advanced technology consultancy, Astheimer, a design agency with specific expertise in transportation including the aviation, automotive and yachting industries.
Conjure - a London-based technology and design studio working with clients such as Mustang, Jaguar and Triumph - is the partner developing Volta’s HMI (Human-Machine Interface).
Volta Trucks will be partnering with Freight in the City Expo on its Tech Talks stage, where you’ll be able to hear directly about the new truck concept and experience the technology through an interactive VR experience.
Freight in the City takes place on 6 November at Alexandra Palace, London. It's a free, one-day event combing a seminar programme focused on urban logistics with an exciting exhibition of latest vehicles and technology for city operations. Register today for a free pass to attend!