While electric vehicles may be the greener option in comparison to their gas-powered relatives, the materials used to produce electric vehicles are by no means green. That, however, could soon start to change thanks to the ambitions of Volta Trucks.
The EV manufacturer is creating an all-electric truck that will feature panels made from sustainable natural composites, providing a holistic greenway for logistics companies to deliver goods around cities. It is a rather unique-looking truck, with the driver’s seat centrally located and the electric drivetrain allowing the cabin to be positioned low to the ground, while large windows provide 220-degree views of the surroundings.
Where things get interesting with the Volta Zero is the construction of the exterior paneling. This material was developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency and consists of flax fibers mixed with biodegradable resins, resulting in an entirely natural composite claimed to be carbon neutral over its lifecycle. Volta says this material has already found its way into vehicles used in competitive motor racing, but this is the first time it has been worked into a vehicle destined for public roads.
It also promises a number of benefits over carbon fiber panels or other lightweight solutions, with Volta claiming it is up to three times better at vibration damping and will bend and snap under the impact, rather than shatter into sharp pieces that pose a risk of injury.
Though it only has renders of the Volta Zero to show, for now, the company says the first prototype is under construction and will be shown off later this year. It plans to roll out the first test vehicles in the first quarter of 2021.