While electric vehicles may be the most environmentally friendly option compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts, the materials used to produce electric vehicles are by no means environmentally friendly. But that may soon begin to change thanks to the ambitions of Volta Trucks.
Flax fiber for the bodywork
The electric vehicle manufacturer is creating an all-electric truck with body components made from sustainable natural materials, providing a total green solution for logistics companies delivering goods to cities. The truck is quite unique in appearance, with the driver’s seat located in the center and the electric power train allowing the cab to be positioned at ground level, while large windows provide a 220-degree view.
What’s interesting about the Volta Zero is the construction of the exterior panels. This material was developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency and consists of flax fibers mixed with biodegradable resins, resulting in an all-natural composite that is claimed to be carbon neutral throughout its life cycle. According to Volta, the material has already been used in motor racing vehicles, but this is the first time it has been used in a vehicle intended for road traffic.
Better for the environment and safer
It also promises a number of advantages over carbon fiber panels or other lightweight solutions, with Volta claiming that it is up to three times better at damping vibration and that it bends and breaks on impact, rather than breaking into sharp pieces that pose a risk of injury.
Although it has only representations of the Volta Zero to show, for now, the company says the first prototype is under construction and will be shown later this year. It plans to launch the first test vehicles in the first quarter of 2021. The 16-ton truck is expected to be capable of driving up to 90 km/h and have a range of 200 km.