Hordes of new electric vehicles are set to arrive in the next few years, everything from commuter-friendly small cars to full-size trucks to versatile crossovers. But what often gets lost in the shuffle are battery-powered commercial vehicles. Arguably, these hardworking machines, like the Ford E-Transit and Blue Arc delivery van, are even more important than the latest and greatest Tesla. On Thursday, Volta Trucks, a commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider announced they signed a letter of intent with Siemens Smart Infrastructure to deliver a comprehensive charging infrastructure and software suite designed to accelerate commercial fleet electrification.
With this partnership, what will each company bring to the table? For starters, Volta Trucks will offer its innovative Truck as a Service product to customers, which is designed to “revolutionize the financing and servicing of commercial vehicle fleets” by giving managers a single, affordable monthly payment that includes a vehicle, charging, service and maintenance. Beyond all that, financing, training and even insurance are included in the price. Talk about streamlined! As for Siemens, the German multinational company will help make those ambitious goals a reality thanks to its EV support solutions. This includes software and controls as well as things like energy management and facility electrification expertise.
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According to the manufacturer, the Volta Zero is the first purpose-built 16-metric-ton commercial vehicle that’s both fully electric and designed specifically for urban delivery. Aside from having zero tailpipe emissions, this box van also offers unparalleled forward visibility thanks to its expansive windshield and center-mounted driving position that helps minimize blind spots. The Zero is also projected to offer between 95 and 125 miles of range on a single charge, which should be more than enough for a full day’s work in densely packed conurbations. That range is probably insufficient if large amounts of high-speed expressway driving are required.
“To deliver the electrification of urban logistics at pace and scale, we need operationally efficient electrification infrastructure aligned to the exact requirement of each fleet,” said Essa Al-Saleh, chief executive officer of Volta Trucks in a release shared by the company. “In Siemens,” he continued, “We have a world-class partner with the innovative technical solutions our customers will expect.
In the same release, Thomas Kiessling, chief technology officer of Siemens Smart Infrastructure said, “As commercial fleets look to meet sustainability goals and deliver cost effective, robust infrastructure solutions, we are pleased to be able to partner with Volta Trucks.”
Volta Trucks is a fully electric commercial vehicle manufacturer. The company’s headquarters are in Stockholm, Sweden, though its engineering is handled in the UK and manufacturing in Austria. The Zero commercial vehicle was introduced in September 2020, though by the middle of 2022, the first customers started receiving prototype models for testing.
Proving it’s more than just a fly-by-night startup, last November, logistics company DB Schenker ordered just shy of 1,500 Zeros for its delivery fleet. Another company, Petit Forestier, ordered 1,000 Volta Zeros, which helped pad the manufacturer’s balance sheet. To date, Volta Trucks has some 6,500 orders to fill, which are worth around $1.4 billion.