Volta wins largest electric truck deal with 1,000 for urban deliveries

In what is believed to be the largest-ever deal for full-size (over 16T) electric trucks in Europe has been struck by UK and Swedish start-up Volta Trucks with Petit Forestier Group, the European leader in refrigeration rentals. It is also Volta’s largest sale to date.

Petit Forestier has entered a long-term strategic partnership with Volta Trucks to develop a refrigerated full-electric commercial vehicle. The Volta Zero, is the first 16- tonne zero-emission commercial vehicle designed for urban deliveries and operations

In a major multi-year deal 1,000 Volta Zeros are to be purchased, with a refrigerated 100% electric commercial vehicle available for rental from 2022.

The strategic partnership between Petit Forestier and Volta Trucks will also focus on skills development, technical collaboration, and customer support.

The first full-electric refrigerated vehicles will be be user tested in 2021 ahead of the start of production in 2022.

Volta Trucks has offices in the UK and Sweden and has partnered with a number of industry-leading design and engineering companies to develop the Zero, including Prodrive (Banbury), Astheimer (Warwick) and Magtec (Sheffield).

The refrigerated full-electric Volta Zero trucks will join the Petit Forestier Group’s fleet of over 58,500 vehicles and will be equipped by Lecapitaine, the Petit Forestier Group’s industrial subsidiary, and the European leader for the design and manufacture of refrigerated bodywork.

The Lecapitaine design office has already started collaborating with the Volta Trucks’ technical teams to ensure the comprehensive integration of the box body and the refrigeration unit, with the first refrigerated Volta Zero is due for user testing in 2021 ahead of the start of production in 2022. 

This industrial agreement will also cover all refrigerated vehicles sold by Volta Trucks.

In addition to the acquisition of 1,000 vehicles, the strategic partnership also focuses on the co-development of skills, in particular technical expertise in the maintenance of electric vehicles, to offer a full-service solution to end customers and facilitate and simplify the operational deployment of these innovative trucks in the Petit Forestier Group’s 280 branches.

For Léonard Forestier, Chief Executive Officer of the Petit Forestier Group, this partnership fits perfectly with the company’s ambitions: “In response to environmental issues and reasonable concerns about accessibility in city centres, greener energies are a promising driver of growth for the Petit Forestier Group and this collaboration with Volta Trucks perfectly illustrates our vision.

“This partnership embodies our desire to significantly increase our pace in terms of innovation and energy transition of our fleet.

“We are taking action now to prepare for the future and to provide our customers with the best zero-emission refrigeration solutions, designed for their urban deliveries. We are delighted to work with the teams at Volta Trucks and to jointly help make our cities more pleasant.”

Welcoming the announcement, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, Rob Fowler, says: “Entering into a strategic long-term partnership to supply 1,000 vehicles to Petit Forestier, the leading refrigerated truck rental company in Europe, and working with Lecapitaine to integrate a refrigerated solution to the Volta Zero, will strengthen Volta Trucks’ position as the leading manufacturer of electric commercial vehicles.

“When we launched the Volta Zero, we knew that there was a pent-up demand for the electrification of trucks. The unprecedented reaction from our customers, decarbonising their fleets to meet forthcoming legislation, and improving the environment for everyone, has more than validated our expectations.”

About the Volta Zero

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city freight deliveries, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres.

Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150-200 km (95-125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 180,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2025.

Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, with its ambition of being the safest large commercial vehicle manufacturer. The Volta Zero was designed for electric from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle and pedestrian safety.

Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.

The first prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first pilot test vehicles due to start evaluation with customers in Q3-2021.


About The Petit Forestier Group

Created in 1907, the Petit Forestier Group – a family-run business – is a leader in the refrigeration sector whose mission is to act for everyone’s food and healthcare needs while guaranteeing safety, simplicity and efficiency.

It relies on a huge rental fleet – over 58,500 vehicles, 48,600 display units and 3,300 refrigerated containers – and a significant network of branches in France and abroad, where it operates in 22 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the United States.

Through this network, the Petit Forestier Group serves over 15,000 customers, always striving to offer quality and an excellent service. The Petit Forestier Group generated sales of €809m in 2019. www.corporate.petitforestier.com

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