Sweden’s Volta Trucks is taking a holistic view of logistics as it strikes a deal with its compatriot startup Cake. Their electric motorcycles will literally get on board Volta trucks as last-mile solutions, and the new partners have already found a prolific client in H&M.
Volta Trucks reportedly works on electric delivery trucks and recently debuted the Volta Zero. The solution the company has now come up with together with Cake, however, differs from the usual approaches to inner-city logistics. “Most of our customers are using trucks to deliver from out-of-town warehouses to inner city stores,” explains Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks. “But as a forward-thinking brand, we’ve always sought innovative partners to deliver new and industry-redefining solutions.”
So, rather than having trucks deliver parcels to the depot, from where smaller vehicles take them on the last miles to delivery, Volta Trucks envisions its vehicles serving as mobile micro-hubs or mini-warehouses on wheels with Cake bikes riding inside as last mile solution.
Once loaded onto the trucks at the distribution centres, the e-trucks will deploy the Cake motorcycles in the city centre at the beginning of the working day. The electric two-wheelers are then free to swarm and deliver parcels to customers.
As for the potentially idle trucks, Volta imagines using them at other locations during the day or quickly delivering replacement batteries for the Cake two-wheelers if needed, providing efficient city-wide coverage for deliveries, so Volta.
The partners set the test run in Paris with the Swedish fast fashion label H&M Group in Q1 2023.
H&M joins the list of clients such as Petit Forrester and DB Schenker awaiting delivery of the zero-emission trucks next year.
As for now, Steyr Automotive has been producing the Zero vehicle for Volta Trucks at its plant in Steyr, Austria, since September, and the first units are presently validated in a pilot fleet before going on loan to customers. Volta Trucks selected Steyr Automotive, formerly MAN Truck and Bus Austria, as a contract manufacturer for its Zero electric truck in 2021.
First unveiled in 2020, the 16-tonne Volta Zero truck was optimised for urban use and distribution from the ground up with its large windscreen and numerous assistants, for example.
As for Cake, the company was founded in Sweden in 2018 and launched deliveries of its second electric motorbike a year later. The model range comprises three platforms, the offroader Kalk, the utility bike Ösa, and the urban commuter Makka. The startup reportedly works with fellow Swedish company Northvolt to introduce sustainable batteries for light electric vehicles.
Neither Cake nor Volta Trucks have disclosed the scope of the new deal with H&M or whether they are planning to roll out the mobile micro-hubs model to other markets.
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