Drivers in Los Angeles will soon see giant Volta electric trucks delivering packages in 2023. Volta Trucks has now confirmed it’s bringing its commercial trucks to the U.S. market. The company is bringing a pilot fleet of 100 commercial electric trucks to be evaluated by U.S. customers in 2023 in Los Angeles, the company said in a news release.
Volta is a Swedish company that is now selling its commercial electric vehicles, which include delivery vans and trucks, in Europe. The company says it’s also going to “appoint an experienced U.S.-based manufacturing partner in late 2022” to make trucks here. The company has been teasing us for months about a U.S. launch.
The company’s Volta Zero is Class 7 truck, or a commercial electric truck that has a gross weight of up to 33,000 pounds. Generally, Class 7 trucks are cab-over semis with trailers. The Zero EV, however, looks more like a city bus turned into a panel van.
What is Volta Trucks?
Volta is a Swedish company with a sense of humor that was launched in 2017. Its engineering offices are in England and Volta sells trucks in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and other European countries. Many large cities in those countries, such as Barcelona and London, are outlawing internal combustion vehicles in 2024. That’s creating a need for commercial electric trucks like these.
The company uses a software-as-a-service model for its trucks, which it says makes more sense for fleet operators who would rather lease than buy hundreds of trucks. Its Truck as a Service in Europe sets up everything a fleet operator needs, such as a charging set up, financing, insurance, and all service and maintenance. In the U.S., however, the company says it will build Volta Trucks Hubs.
Volta says it has 6,000 orders for its trucks. Major trucking companies in Europe have ordered thousands of the trucks.
What are the Volta Zero commercial electric trucks?
The Volta Zero is a 16-ton vehicle that has a range of 95 to 125 miles. They’re electric trucks. The driver sits in the middle, and much lower than in a conventional truck. The first prototype Volta was launched in September of 2020 and European customers should see deliveries of their vehicles by mid-summer, the company said.
These are heavy-duty commercial electric trucks that can carry up to 33,000 pounds. Zeros are garbage truck-sized vehicles that are the first purpose-built large commercial electric trucks. They can be ordered with an “ambient” or refrigerated cargo area that is 22-feet-long. They have a maximum speed of 56 miles per hour. Europeans can be order them in 7.5 tonne or 12 tonne variants. A tonne is equal to 1,000 kilograms.
These trucks are much bigger than consumer-sized electric trucks and you won’t be able to drive one without a commercial driver’s license.
Volta will have American competition from Freightliner
Freightliner is developing the MT50e that looks like a traditional deliver van. It’s a Class 5, or 16,000 to 19,000-pound truck. The MT50e can go 170 miles on a charge and has a top speed of 70 miles per hour.
While Volta Zeros look like modern electric vehicles, The MT50e looks just like the panel vans we see driving around today. Freightliner launched the MT50e in November of 2021.