The Swedish electric truck start-up Volta Trucks will have its first trucks produced by Steyr Automotive, formerly MAN Truck and Bus Austria, in Austria from the end of 2022. The two companies have now signed a production contract to this effect.
According to the Swedish company, the contract was preceded by a “broad-based competitive tendering process with potential suppliers throughout Europe”. In April, on the other hand, it was still said that the company was considering a plant in Spain, specifically at the former Nissan plant in Barcelona.
Under new CEO Essa Al-Saleh, who succeeded Rob Fowler who resigned for personal reasons, the decision has now been made to produce in Steyr. “Steyr Automotive was appointed due to their extensive experience in commercial vehicle manufacturing, the existing manufacturing infrastructure and the resulting speed to market,” Volta now shares in this regard.
“The team at Steyr Automotive has a proven ability to manufacture the Volta Zero with their decades of experience in premium truck building,” says Kjell Waloen, co-founder and chief technology officer of Volta Trucks, according to the company’s statement. “Building our trucks in Austria will shorten our time to market and minimise the environmental footprint of our operations, which supports our sustainability ambitions – a key factor in our decision.”
As Waloen indicated to media, Steyr’s experience apparently tipped the scales against in-house production in Spain. “If you start a brand new product in a brand new plant without experience, you multiply the risks and complications many times over,” Waloen said, explaining the decision.
In line with its “road-to-zero emissions strategy”, Volta Trucks intends to manufacture its vehicles close to the countries where they are sold – the vehicles from Austria, for example, will be used by customers in Paris and London who have been confirmed so far. In the press release, however, Volta Trucks also emphasises that an expansion “throughout Europe, followed by the North American and Asian markets” is planned – for this purpose, “further worldwide production sites” are already being considered.
The Volta Zero is a sustainable electric truck for inner cities. First unveiled in 2020, the 16-tonne concept is designed from the ground up for electric mobility and – with its large windscreen and numerous assistants, for example – optimised for urban use and distribution traffic. According to earlier information, the electric drive systems will come from Meritor and the batteries from Proterra. In May, it became known that Volta is planning versions in the 7.5-tonne, 12-tonne and 19-tonne weight classes in addition to the 16-tonne truck.
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