Logistics giant DB Schenker has made Europe's largest pre-order for electric trucks so far after signing a deal with Volta Trucks for 1,470 Volta Zero trucks.

The pre-order is part of wider plans under the partnership to speed up DB Schenker's transition to an all electric fleet, according to Cyrille Bonjean, DB Schenker European executive vice president of land transport.

He said: "We have many challenges to overcome on the road to carbon neutrality. The large-scale partnership with Volta Trucks allows us to significantly increase the pace of electrification of our fleet and invest in greener transport solutions, brings us closer again to our goal of carbon neutral logistics.”

Essa Al-Saleh, Volta Trucks chief executive officer, confirmed the agreement with DB Schenker: “I am delighted to welcome DB Schenker as a Volta Trucks customer. Working with DB Schenker on Europe’s largest full-electric truck order demonstrates the confidence that major freight distributors have in our ability to deliver a world-class zero-emission vehicle on time and to the highest possible quality.”

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As part of the partnership, DB Schenker will begin trialling the first prototype of Volta Zero Trucks in real distribution conditions in the spring and summer of 2022. The findings from these tests will be incorporated into the serial production of 1,470 vehicles built at Volta Trucks’ new contract manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria.

The full-electric 16-tonne Volta Zero will be used in DB Schenker’s European terminals to transport goods from distribution hubs to the city centres and urban areas. The two companies will work together to explore the potential uses of the technology to potentially expand the offering. The rollout will begin at 10 locations in 5 countries.

The partnership will also jointly develop specifications for the previously announced 12-tonne Volta Zero variant and will conduct site testing to accelerate  deployment of the vehicles.