The Swedish start-up Volta Trucks wants to finish the Volta Zero with sustainable and recyclable composite body parts. That is why it is collaborating with the Italian CPC Group, Europe’s largest manufacturer of composite materials. According to the vehicle manufacturer, the collaboration should enable clear growth synergies for Volta Trucks.
The main mission of Volta Trucks is sustainability. This reportedly goes far beyond eliminating tailpipe emissions. Volt Trucks also assumes a sustainable choice of materials and a sustainable supply chain.
Carl-Magnus Norden, co-founder and general manager of Volta Trucks: “Sustainability is a cornerstone of our business because saving our planet cannot wait. Action must be taken now and Volta Trucks is committed to leading the rapid transformation of large commercial vehicles. Our innovative all-electric powertrain will eliminate harmful exhaust emissions, with positive impacts on climate change and air quality. But for Volta Trucks, sustainability is much more than just reducing exhaust emissions. We also take an environmentally conscious approach to sourcing materials to achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable commercial vehicle manufacturer.”
The CPC Group has more than 1,000 employees and has grown into Europe’s largest manufacturer in its niche. The company has more than ten years of experience in composite materials. The CPC Group invested more than 300 million euros to move the production of composite materials for the automotive industry from niche to mass production. Because the CPC Group has a lot in common with Volta Trucks in terms of technological and commercial objectives, the choice for Volta Trucks was only logical.
Together with the CPC Group, Volta Trucks will further develop and industrialize these new and innovative sustainable and recyclable composites. This with the aim of being able to produce them in large quantities in order to meet Volta Trucks’ commercial ambitions in the long term. Production would initially begin with the first iteration of composites. In the long term, a number of future developments in the field of sustainable composites are planned. For this, the two companies also rely on their supply chain and material development partners.
The Volta Zero, one of the world’s first all-electric commercial vehicles in the 16-ton class, is specifically designed for inner-city logistics to reduce the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centers. The Volta Zero is to have an all-electric range of up to 200 km and is expected to help eliminate more than 1.2 million tons of CO2 by 2025.
When Volta launched the Zero in September 2020, it was the first commercial vehicle to use composite panels made from flax and biodegradable resin from sustainable sources. The natural and light fiber material is almost completely CO2 neutral during its life cycle. Even so, the material matches the stiffness and weight of carbon fiber. Compared to carbon fiber, its production requires no less than 75 percent less CO2.
Safety is also a concern of Volta Trucks. Due to the lack of an internal combustion engine, the seat height is much lower than in a conventional truck and the operator of the Volta Zero is in a central, far forward position. In combination with the special design of the cabin, the driver has a panoramic view of 220 degrees.
Production will now start at the end of next year
Actually, the first units of the Volta Zero were supposed to be delivered to customers this year. That is not going to be achieved now because of the switch to advanced, sustainable composites in the body and upholstery. Series production of the Zero is expected to begin at the end of 2022.