Volta, a Swedish start-up transport company, will established a base in the UK to build prototypes for its new electric truck. The company is teaming up with British racers Prodrive on development.
“The UK and the Midlands specifically has a fantastic legacy of producing world-leading automotive brands and innovations,” said Volta founder Carl-Magnus Norden.
“We will therefore be manufacturing the prototype together with our partner Prodrive at their Banbury base.”
The truck is projected to have an 18-tonne capacity, a top speed of 50mph and a range of 100 miles. The electric architecture allows a less conventional low-cab layout, which will aid improved vision and visibility for the driver. The ideal stomping ground for this trucks will be cities, where they’ll be making multiple urban drops.
The company expects to launch a £20million initial funding round next year. It says that it’s confident of its ability to take the advantage over legacy truck manufacturers. Why? It doesn’t have existing manufacturing infrastructure that it needs to develop in transitioning from internal combustion to electric. It’s starting at the ground floor of electric, with a clean slate.
“We don’t have to unlearn anything,” says Kjell Waloen, chief technology officer for Volta. “We can think differently.”
The Volta will have stiff competition by the time it’s ready for market. Mercedes has already deployed electric versions of its Actros truck for testing with multiple UK companies. Also joining the fray before too long will be Tesla, with its electric Semi Truck. Claims are that it can go for over 500 miles.
Volta’s decision to set up shop in the UK comes shortly after Tesla backtracked on its promise to make the UK its European home. It intends to set up a ‘gigafactory’ in Germany.