Carl-Magnus Norden | October 2023
When I founded Volta Trucks, my primary goal was to ensure that the Volta Zero’s design would truly shape real-world solutions and positively impact lives.
I believed that there was a need to shift away from the conventional and outdated truck design, which still to this day, carries fundamental flaws. Besides the obvious pollution and subsequent damage which traditional diesel-powered trucks cause to our planet, it’s the foundations of their design which mean they are simply not fit for our cities.
Their growling engine and unattractive design go hand in hand when it comes to the disruption and disturbance they cause when operating across our neighbourhoods.
But above all, conventional trucks are not safe.
The driver sits high up above the engine, completely disconnecting them from their surroundings, creating dangerous blind spots which put pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists at risk.
We needed to think beyond electric
The future of transportation goes beyond simply swapping fuel types. My vision was to design with humans at the forefront, while pushing boundaries to help drive us toward zero-emission cities. A best-in-class truck with a premium working environment for our undervalued drivers, designed around safety and the cities we call home.
“I saw an opportunity to start from a blank sheet of paper and completely re-think truck design principles, using the latest innovations to create a vehicle that could transform cities into safer, more pleasant, and sustainable ecosystems.”
Safety was always a top priority
By placing the batteries and powertrain under the body and between the chassis rails, this gave us freedom to re-envision the cab design.
The Volta Zero’s cab offers a lower and central seating position, with a 220-degree field of direct vision and 360-degree cameras. These eliminate blind spots, making vulnerable road users more visible and lowering the risk of accidents.
The low cab also facilitates ease of ingress and egress, ensuring the safety and comfort of drivers who make numerous deliveries every day as they are now able to step in or out onto the sidewalk, rather than onto the traffic side. The symmetrical sliding doors add to this, and remove any risk caused to passers-by from the traditional swinging doors.
The cab interior is designed around a highly functional, driver-centric layout. It features key information screens, a digital rear-view mirror, side camera screens and an integral flat-bottom steering wheel HMI. The environment is simple, bold, and uncluttered, reducing cognitive overload for the driver.
Our unique side skirts build on the safety aspect
They form a smooth surface and are designed to ensure that no part that may cause injury is exposed. They hang low and are somewhat flexible, minimising the risk of a vulnerable road user falling underneath and reducing the level of impact, should any accident happen.
As a part of the urban environment, it was important to give the Volta Zero a friendly and approachable character. By positioning the driver at eye-level with pedestrians, our aim was to remove the underlying stigma associated with delivery trucks by the community that relies on them. We wanted to create a sense of connection, and have our trucks welcomed in the cities which they operate.
The unique V-shaped daytime running lamp signature reflects an open eye, enhancing the human connection between the vehicle and passers-by. The Volta Zero’s quiet running sound and ergonomic design steers away from the noisy and disruptive trucks that we’re all familiar with. It’s a welcome service tool that contributes to a more pleasant urban environment. The aerodynamic and eye-catching silhouette, combined with smooth surfaces, delivers the perfect urban vehicle design, perfectly suited for city-centre deliveries.