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Volta to become a friend of the zero-emission city with the safest commercial vehicle.
By Duncan Forrester | 22 July 2020
  • Volta completely rethinks the safety of large commercial vehicle design with a revolutionary new cab, low seat position and unprecedented 220-degrees of visibility.
  • Latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) support the driver, enhancing the safety of all road users.
  • Innovative natural Flax composite external body panels provides optimum crash properties, being perfectly suited to urban mobility and the protection of others.


"Safety is at the heart of the Volta brand for one simple reason. In London, as an example, 23% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist deaths involve an HGV, yet large trucks only account for 4% of road miles. This is clearly unacceptable and must change. The Volta Zero completely reimagines the commercial vehicle, ensuring it can operate safely with all road users and become a friend of the zero-emission city."

Carl-Magnus Norden, Founder of Volta Trucks.

Designed for electric, designed for safety.

The Volta Zero is the first purpose-built full electric large commercial vehicle specifically designed for inner-city last-mile freight and parcel distribution. The removal of the traditional internal combustion engine has facilitated a complete rethink and redesign of today’s commercial vehicle, with a clear focus on the safety of the Zero’s driver and all other road users.

The driver of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position with a wide 220-degrees of direct vision around the vehicle. This panoramic view of the surroundings through a glasshouse- style cab is designed to deliver a Transport for London five-star Direct Vision Standard rating for optimum visibility and the reduction of blind spots. Driving safety and visibility is also enhanced by the use of rear-view cameras that replace traditional mirrors, a 360-degree birds-eye camera showing the driver their complete surroundings, and blind-sport warning systems that detects objects on the vulnerable sides of the vehicle.

Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the driver of a Volta Zero sits far lower than in a conventional truck, with their eye-line at around 1.8 meters. This mirrors the height of pedestrians and other road users in close proximity for easy visual communication between the driver and others around.

The Volta Zero’s cab has also been designed with the driver’s comfort at the fore. The lower cab height and seating position provides easy ingress and egress for the driver who will be frequently entering and returning to the vehicle. To further enhance the driving environment, the modern, open and simplified cab comes with a contemporary, uncluttered dashboard and driver information interface. The central display conveys critical information while touch screens on each side are used for lights, climate control, navigation and trip planning, communication, and in-cab media. The simple-to-use environment reduces distraction, and thus fatigue and stress, on the driver.

Technology-focussed active safety.

On top of the safety benefits delivered by the Volta Zero’s design, it will also offer the latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). ADAS electronic systems help driving, manoeuvring and parking, and make a significant contribution to the safe operation of larger vehicles.

The driver of a Volta Zero will benefit from technologies such as Active Steering, Road Sign Assist, and Reversing Assistant with reversing camera, ensuring they have the latest safety support systems when operating in the confines of the city centre. While on the move, Lane Change Assist and Lane Departure Warning systems ensure that the truck operates as safely as possible. The vehicle’s operator also benefits from a technical status monitoring system, based on artificial intelligence, that avoids breakdowns and maximises the uptime of the vehicle.

Advanced material properties enhance passive safety.

The revolutionary cab design of the Volta Zero incorporates a pioneering hybrid mix of innovative materials to provide the ultimate levels of passive safety.

Lightweight, high-strength carbon fibre is used for the structural windscreen surround but most of the cab’s external body panels are constructed from strong yet sustainable natural Flax fibre composite material. Unlike the structural carbon fibre, the innovative, near-carbon neutral Flax composite body panels will bend, reshape, and ultimately snap, unlike carbon fibre that shatters. This flexible behaviour is well suited to urban mobility, reducing the risk of sharp debris that can injure people or cause further accidents through punctures.

And should an incident occur, thanks to the cab’s inner metal spaceframe structure, simulations have shown that this pioneering hybrid use of composite body panels has the same crash and safety performance as conventional steel material.

Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, Rob Fowler, concluded;

"We have created the full-electric Volta Zero as a direct response to the crucial issues that face our metropolitan areas. Trucks must operate in cities for commerce to exist and livelihoods to be maintained, but it cannot be acceptable that they cause damage to the environment they operate in and harm to the people around them. Unlike today’s large trucks that dominate their surroundings, by design, the Volta Zero supports the driver with the broadest visibility and latest safety technology, as well as a comfortable and easy-to-use working environment in the cab. This all ensures that the Volta Zero will operate cleanly and safely in the world’s city centres, happily coexisting and operating alongside all other road users."

Ends.

Editor's notes.

About the Volta Zero.

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city freight deliveries, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150 - 200 kms (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 180,000 tonnes of CO 2 from city centre atmospheres by 2025.

The first prototype Volta Zero is currently being built, and will be launched later in 2020, with the first pilot test vehicles due to start evaluation with customers in Q1-2021.

About Volta Trucks.

Volta Trucks is a start-up full-electric goods vehicle manufacturer and services company. Volta Trucks has offices in the UK and Sweden and has partnered with a number of industry- leading design and engineering companies to develop the Zero, including Prodrive, Astheimer and Magtec.

For further information, please contact:

Duncan Forrester
Public Relations and Communications consultant
E: Duncan@ForresterPR.com | T: 00 44 7768 877877

Ade Thomas
Social Media and Sustainability Communications consultant
E: Ade.Thomas@green.tv | T: 00 44 7802 875710

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