Volta Trucks, the UK-based full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer, has confirmed the appointment of Meritor as the strategic drivetrain component supplier for the Volta Zero. This major purchasing milestone will support the delivery of Volta Zero vehicles for customer trials during 2021, and the start of series production around 12 months afterwards.
The Volta Zero will be the first full-electric large commercial vehicle in Europe to use an innovative eAxle to drive the rear wheels. Meritor will supply the single unit, containing the electric motor, transmission, and rear axle of the Volta Zero, with its Blue Horizion 14Xe integrated ePowertrain.
The 14Xe all-electric, fully integrated electric powertrain for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, is lighter and more efficient than a conventional electric motor and axle set-up, delivering an increased range as a result. It also provides packaging benefits by freeing up space between the chassis rails to provide the safest possible location for the vehicle’s battery.
“Meritor is excited to work with Volta Trucks on bringing electric commercial vehicles to the European market. Our expertise and investment in advanced technologies has made it possible to offer customers like Volta Trucks, solutions to meet their electrification needs,” said Ken Hogan, Meritor’s senior vice president and president, Truck, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, Rob Fowler, added; “Confirmation of the strategic supplier for the electric drivetrain is another major milestone on our journey towards the production of the Volta Zero. As a pioneer and innovator in this unserved area of the electric vehicle marketplace, it is imperative for us to select experienced, world-class suppliers who share our ambition and values. The first use of Meritor’s revolutionary eAxle in a European commercial vehicle is an excellent example of our cutting-edge product development and supplier selection strategy in action.”
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city freight deliveries, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150 – 200 kms (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 180,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, with its ambition of being the safest large commercial vehicle manufacturer. The Volta Zero was designed for electric from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.
The prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first vehicles expected to be operating with customers in late 2021.