Real-world trials of a Volta Zero prototype have begun in the UK.

Engineering evaluation and development testing is taking place at Horiba MIRA in Nuneaton.

The news follows the reveal of the Volta Zero prototype chassis in June.

Called ‘Volta Minus One’, the prototype previews the final version of the truck.

Therefore, it will use the production chassis and drivetrain during testing.

In addition, all of the electro-mechanical and thermal properties will be evaluated.

For example, the Proterra battery and eAxle from Meritor.

However, the Volta Zero prototype exterior will not be production-spec.

Instead, it will be designed to offer the driver protection from the elements while testing at speed. 

Finally, the prototype vehicle will have a flatbed, instead of the production vehicle’s cargo box.

This configuration gives engineers more flexibility to test different payloads.

The testing at Horiba MIRA will continue for many months.

Elsewhere, cold weather testing is planned for the Artic Circle.

Furthermore, development vehicles will also be taken to southern Europe for hot weather workouts.

Results from the trucks will then be evaluated, prior to the production of Volta’s pilot fleet vehicles. 

These trucks will be used by key customers for further evaluation.

Production of the final version of the Volta Zero is planned for the end of 2022.

Ian Collins, chief product officer, hailed the Volta Zero prototype as a major milestone.

“It’s an exciting time for all of the Volta Trucks team and our customers,” he said.

“To have achieved this landmark moment in just eight months is a great example of our nimble and agile approach. 

Concluding, Collins said: “The start of prototype testing is evidence that we are on track to deliver production vehicles by the end of next year.”