Parcel delivery company DPD has completed a series of engineering tests with the electric Volta Zero, as part of wider Beta Trials for the new 16-tonne vehicle.
The design verification prototype vehicle was based at the firm’s Hinckley Superhub in Leicestershire. DPD’s drivers were accompanied by Volta Trucks engineers and qualified drivers and, while no parcels were onboard, the truck was tested on a range of pre-determined routes including motorways, A-roads and urban centres.
The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle, designed for urban logistics. With an operating pure-electric range of 150 – 200kms, the truck is designed to significantly reduce the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres.
The truck has also been designed from the ground-up with vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety in mind. The combination of a central driving position with a much lower seat height and the glass house-style cab design gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.
The Beta Trials are part of Volta’s Test and Development programme and a key step towards the start of customer Production in early 2023.
Olly Craughan, head of sustainability, DPD, said: “It was fantastic to get our hands on a Volta Zero and put it through its paces, with our own drivers alongside Volta Trucks’ engineers. We had the truck for five days and it is very impressive. The trial is an opportunity for us to test the vehicle first-hand, while helping Volta Trucks see exactly how it performs in real-life scenarios and on typical routes.
“Working with the Volta Trucks team in the cab gave us a great insight into what they are doing and how the truck could fit into the fleet. Increasingly we are operating in low or zero-emission zones in major cities, so with micro-depots and all-electric city centre van fleets we have already transformed our urban delivery strategy. But there is a real need for bigger, green vehicles that can fit into that strategy.”
DPD’s aim is to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK and the company is on track to have over 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road this year and 4,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities using EVs only.