Volta Trucks has begun production of the first road-going prototype of its new 16-tonner at its plant in Coventry.
A total of 25 vehicles will be manufactured and once completed in January, the fleet will embark on a rigorous testing regime.
This will involve Volta Trucks engineers replicating a wide range of customer usage and delivery cycles, as well as taking the Volta Zero to the extremes of cold weather environments in the Arctic, hot weathers in equatorial conditions, and crash testing.
The results of the comprehensive testing programme will be fed into the final prototype stage when vehicles will be built at the firm’s new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022.
Many of these production-specification prototypes will be lent to selected customers for extended periods to be tested in their real-world logistics conditions, undertaking millions of delivery kilometres, alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineers.
The Volta Zero has an operating pure-electric range of 95 to 125 miles.
Ian Collins, Chief Product Officer of Volta Trucks, said: “In August, the first Volta Zero rolling chassis started testing, and we’ve already extracted huge amounts of data from that vehicle.
“We now move into a rapid test – learn – iterate – develop phase. This is going to be far more condensed and intensive than a normal vehicle testing programme, given our ambitious timeline to start series production in a year’s time, that is driven by customers’ needs for zero-emission trucks.
“This will take us to some of the hottest, coldest and most extreme conditions in the world, all to ensure that the production specification vehicles that roll off the production line by the end of 2022 deliver the highest possible quality standards and exceed our customers’ expectations.”