EV developer Volta Trucks files for bankruptcy

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Swedish electric commercial vehicle manufacturer Volta Trucks has filed for bankruptcy, citing challenging market conditions following the bankruptcy of its battery supplier Proterra.

The eye-catching 7.5-metric ton Volta Zero provides an attractive proposition for clean last-mile deliveries, with unique features such as a 220° field of vision around the vehicle thanks to a glasshouse-style cab. Rearview cameras have replaced traditional mirrors and are complemented by a 360° birds-eye camera and blind-sport warning sensors.

The driver of a Volta Zero sits far lower than in a conventional truck, with their eye-line at around 1.8m, mirroring the height of pedestrians. A central driving position enables the driver to enter and exit the vehicle on either side.

The first Volta Zero ran off the production line in Austria in September 2022 and at the start of 2023, Volta Trucks announced that it would produce 300 of its Volta Zero trucks this year, bringing in around €85m (US$89.5m) associated revenue.

In April, The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport in Germany also approved the subsidization of 151 all-electric Volta Zero trucks, providing support to Volta Trucks’ customers totaling €24.6m (US$26m). Companies trialing the Volta Zero included the likes of DPD (Geopost), DB Schenker and M&S.

A statement by the Volta Trucks board said, “Volta Trucks accomplished a great deal from a standing start in 2019, revolutionizing commercial vehicle operations for a sustainable future.

“We created the world’s first purpose-built 16-metric ton all-electric truck, including a unique cab and chassis design, that would have contributed to decarbonizing the environment and enhanced the health and safety and air quality of urban centers.

“Piloting in five countries in Europe, we received fantastic feedback, which led to a strong pipeline of highly reputed customers who wanted to introduce our Volta Zero Trucks into their fleets.

“However, like all scale-ups in the EV manufacturing sector, Volta Trucks has faced challenges along the way. The recent news that our battery supplier (Proterra) has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, has had a significant impact on our manufacturing plans, reducing the volume of vehicles that we had forecast to produce. The uncertainty with our battery supplier also negatively affected our ability to raise sufficient capital in an already challenging capital-raising environment for electric vehicle players.

“With deep and sincere regret, the board has therefore taken the difficult decision to take steps to file for bankruptcy proceedings in Sweden. The main trading entity of the Group, Volta Trucks Limited, will shortly file for administration in England, with insolvency practitioners from Alvarez & Marsal anticipated to take office. Other Group entities will also shortly file for insolvency proceedings in the relevant jurisdictions.

“The board has not taken this course easily or lightly and is fully aware of the significant impact this will have on the organization’s dedicated workforce, as well as customers and partners. We would like to sincerely thank the Volta Trucks team and are incredibly proud of their pioneering work to deliver such an innovative zero-emission commercial vehicle.”

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