Volta Trucks has begun testing its first production specification chassis at the Horiba MIRA facility in Nuneaton. The 16-tonne trucks are designed for urban deliveries, and production versions will feature a van body with integrated cab.
The prototype chassis uses what Volta hopes will be the driveline of the production Volta Zero truck: nicknamed the Volta Minus One, it has a high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and a compact rear axle, electric motor and transmission eAxle unit from Meritor. Using a flat-bed body at this stage enables engineers to quickly vary loads for test purposes.
Testing at Horiba MIRA will continue over the coming months. The forthcoming development programme with this and later-specification prototypes also includes periods of cold weather testing north of the Arctic Circle, and hot weather testing in southern Europe.
Once testing is complete a limited number of Pilot Fleet vehicles will be evaluated by key customers who have the option to purchase production trucks. Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles will follow at the end of 2022.
Volta Trucks chief product officer Ian Collins said: “The start of testing and evaluation of the first prototype Volta Zero is a major milestone on our journey towards production, and an exciting time for all of the Volta Trucks team and our customers…
“We need to go through a comprehensive and thorough development programme, but the start of prototype testing is evidence that we are on track to deliver production vehicles, on time, by the end of next year.”