On Thursday, Sweden-based Volta Trucks announced plans to enter the U.S. market with its Zero electric commercial trucks.
The company said in a press release that it “plans to hire an experienced US-based manufacturing partner by the end of 2022.” It plans to start U.S. production in 2024-2025 with this partner.
Earlier, Volta planned to deploy a pilot fleet of 100 trucks for U.S. customer evaluation starting in Los Angeles in 2023. They will be made by Voltaire existing contract manufacturing partners in Stairway, Austria
These primary trucks will be the Americanized version of the Volta European 16-ton (35,000-pound) model, the equivalent of a Class 7 by US standards. According to Volta a modular battery system will offer a range of 95-125 miles. The trucks will have 19-kilowatt AC charging that can add up to 12 miles per hour and DC fast charging that will deliver full charge at the same time, the company said.
In addition to the Class 7 trucks, Volta has recently unveiled Class 5 and Class 6-equivalent models for the European market. All three share future exterior styles. Volta claims that its commercial trucks carry better visibility for the driver, as it puts them down in the street view with the location of a concentrated seat.
Volta further indicated that it would offer its “Truck as a Service” model in US Pitched as an alternative to traditional ownership or leasing, giving fleet operators access to vehicles and charging infrastructure with a single monthly fee including maintenance, insurance and drivers. Training included.
Voltaire’s plans to build and sell vehicles in the United States are not unexpected. The company has been working with U.S. suppliers for some time, sourcing e-Excel units from California-based Protter batteries and Michigan-based Meritor.
Electric trucks will help reduce emissions, but it’s not the only benefit. Freitliner noted that drivers on test fleets suffer less fatigue on electric trucks. So far, though, the infrastructure for electric commercial trucks has lagged behind.
The grid can handle this – mostly – but megawatt-capable stations will come much slower than light-vehicle fast-charging stations. But California is working to build infrastructure to support heavy-duty electric trucks.