Vodafone Automotive speaks with Volta Trucks about the partnership to equip the Volta Zero with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System and Alarm System security solutions

Built with safety, from the ground up

Volta Trucks is revolutionising the HGV market with its range of fully electric commercial vehicles. Designed fresh from the ground up, the usual pitfalls associated with combustion engines, pollution, noise and a high eyeliner with numerous blind spots, are avoided. With safety as its number one priority, Volta Trucks needed a partner who could integrate AVAS and an Alarm System in its new vehicles.

The challenge

Introducing revolutionary trucks.

TFL Statistics show that 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 78 percent of cyclist deaths in London involve an HGV, despite them only accounting for four percent of road miles. These huge vehicles are also churning out polluting microparticles, which impacts the health of people living in cities. That said, we’re then faced with a dilemma of what to do about this, as our high street shops and supermarkets need stocking, we can’t simply ban trucks from city centres.

That’s why Volta Trucks wants to bring a range of innovative, fully electric, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to market as quickly as possible – creating a safe situation that works for everyone. The Volta Zero has been designed from the ground up without legacy combustion engine issues. Now, thanks to a central driver’s seat and lower eyeliner, blind spots have been eliminated. The introduction of sliding doors has also reduced the risk of opening the doors into an oncoming cyclist. In terms of road safety, it’s revolutionary, to say the least.

Duncan Forrester, Chief Communications Officer of Volta Trucks, explained;

"The driver is eye-level with pedestrians because we have removed the traditional engine. That makes it much safer in line with our ambition to build the world’s safest commercial vehicle. These trucks are also designed for urban use and to improve air quality by reducing pollution.

We need trusted partners from the start who we can integrate their products and services with ours, as quickly as possible. Vodafone Automotive offered us just that."

To have a truly safe vehicle, the Volta Zero needed to include an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), as mandated by the EU. Electric vehicles reversing or travelling less than 20 kilometres per hour (about 12 miles per hour) must generate a noise to alert nearby drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists that the vehicle is present and moving. Volta Trucks needed to find the right partner to supply AVAS and Alarm System security to protect its vehicles from theft and interference.

The solution

Safety and security are right at the heart of what we do.

Volta Trucks selected Vodafone Automotive’s AVAS and Alarm System as the right solutions for its business, based on cost, performance, and the brand’s credibility. As Volta Trucks wanted to bring the Volta Zero to market in just two years, unit availability was also really important.

Forrester added;

"The normal cycle of getting a vehicle-to-market, from design-to-manufacturing, is around seven years. We are only two years from prototype to the launch of customer-specified vehicles. That means we need trusted partners from the start that can integrate their products and services with ours, as quickly as possible. Vodafone Automotive offered us
just that."

AVAS is a compact, cost-efficient and eco-friendly solution, which generates wide frequency ranged sounds with different pitch and volume, based on vehicle speed and acceleration. So, it tells nearby road users where the truck is. The Alarm System is programmed to alert the driver via an app when the truck is interfered with, as well as producing the usual flashing lights and sirens. Together, they make the Volta Zero safer and more secure.

Volta Trucks’ original roadmap expected there to be 5,000 Volta Zeros on the streets of Paris and London by 2025. However, with an increasing number of cities banning diesel trucks, the company expects that figure to be closer to 27,000.

Forrester concluded;

"What we are trying to do with our partners, such as Vodafone Automotive, is deliver best-in-class vehicles that can play a significant role in changing society for a better future. As a start-up bringing a new vehicle to market quickly, we know some people will be sceptical, however, our ability to point to our world-class partners helps give us credibility – and, our customers and road users the reassurance they need."

Phil Morrell, Sales Manager OE, has worked really closely with the Volta Trucks team, so that Vodafone Automotive could deliver what they needed, to support their business. He said;

"We’re really excited to be able to collaborate with Volta Trucks on automotive safety and security. We’re also really proud that we’re supporting their sustainable business ambitions. As part of Vodafone’s own sustainable business strategy, we’re cutting CO2 emissions and electronic waste and helping our customers do the same – it’s great that we can work together with them, to create a better planet for everyone."