You might soon see more electric trucks ferrying cargo around town. Volta has revealed that it’s bringing its urban delivery EVs to the US, starting with a test fleet of 100 Class 7 (16.5 US tons) Zero trucks coming to Los Angeles in mid-2023. American production should start in 2024, with an “experienced” manufacturer chosen late this year. This inaugural truck will be followed by lighter-duty Class 5 (9.8-ton) and Class 6 (13-ton) models in 2024 and 2025.
The Class 7 Volta Zero’s range is short, with modular batteries offering between 95 to 125 miles of driving. That’s more than enough for city deliveries, however. Volta is also betting that 250kW DC fast charging will ease any range anxiety. You completely recharge the Zero in slightly over an hour at the right station. Moreover, the company has taken advantage of the switch to electric motors to improve safety — a lower, center-mounted driver’s seat should reduce the usual truck blind spots.
There’s pressure for Volta to move quickly. Fellow Swedish company Volvo has already introduced multiple electric medium-duty trucks, and American rival Freightliner has the eM2. Still, these are typically conventional designs that just happen to be electric, rather than from-scratch EVs. Volta might reel customers in simply by making a more compelling case for ditching diesel- and gas-based fleets.