Volta Trucks announces comeback after takeover

Volta Trucks is preparing for a comeback in selected European markets under its new owner, Luxor Capital. The electric truck manufacturer aims to make its first deliveries to customers in Germany by the end of the year - followed by order processing in France, the UK and Scandinavia.

Image: Volta Trucks

There were already indications that activities would resume. Contract manufacturer Steyr Automotive announced a few weeks ago that it would soon produce electric trucks for Volta Truck again. As reported, Volta Trucks filed for insolvency in October – not only the Swedish unit but also the group’s most important trading company, Volta Trucks Limited, based in England.

That was after Volta’s battery supplier, Proterra, declared bankruptcy in August, which had a “significant impact on Volta’s production plans.” It had to halt production and could not raise new money in an already difficult capital environment. In December, insolvency administrators of Alvarez & Marsal Europe presented a deal with Luxor Capital. The hedge fund bought the British business and assets of Volta Trucks and founded its own subsidiary, “Volta Commercial Vehicles Limited.”

Volta Trucks made its first public statement following its insolvency and buyout. The company is preparing for its “sustainable comeback in Europe in 2024,” with the plan envisaging a simplified and more capital-efficient business model. The manufacturer is vague about what exactly that means. The focus is “on speed to market, capital efficiency and profitability.” Volta Trucks will offer an innovative “chassis-cab” product in its new form, which will be supported by a maintenance and service offering, as well as partnerships with body manufacturers.

It is also clear that only around 150 of the approximately 600 employees are still on board. An accompanying press release states: “Re-launch activities are now underway with a team of around 150 employees, passionate to bring vehicles back on the streets of European cities.”

The new Luxor Capital subsidiary is registered in the UK. Vehicle development for series production of the 16- and 18-ton versions of the Volta Zero is in full swing and designed to meet the new GSR-2 (General Safety Regulation) standards when they come into force in July 2024. According to Volta, initial customer tests in live operation have also begun in the UK. A larger fleet of vehicles will then be available in the second quarter, covering Germany, France, the Nordic countries and Austria.

“We’re looking to confirm orders with existing customers, reassemble the supply chain, complete a crucial fundraising round, and ensure series vehicles are ready for delivery,” says Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of the new Volta Trucks Commercial Vehicles Ltd. “Right now, we are in the midst of discussions with all our suppliers and partners to enable these objectives. We have learned a lot from our challenging journey and are emerging stronger and more focused than ever.”

Luxor Capital Group says it supports a financing plan that includes a round of convertible financing next month and a larger Series A round for investors towards the middle of the year. The associated potential proceeds are intended to guide Volta Trucks through the series production phase and the implementation of customer orders and deliveries.

According to the company, the primary goal is to make the first deliveries to customers in Germany by the end of the year, followed by France, the UK and Scandinavia. The Volta Zero will be used at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer, among other events. The joint planning with Steyr Automotive in Austria “targets resuming series production later this year,” according to Volta. According to information from ORF Upper Austria, production will resume as early as May. The plan is to produce 500 electric trucks in Steyr this year and 2,000 next year, it was reported in March. In addition, a new subsidiary of Steyr Automotive called Steyr Automotive E-Truck GmbH will be founded, which will take over the production of electric trucks for Volta.



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