Parcel delivery company DPD has completed a series of engineering tests with the full-electric Volta Zero, as part of wider beta trials for the new, 16-tonne vehicle.

The design verification prototype was tested at the firm’s Hinckley Superhub in Leicestershire.

DPD drivers, accompanied by Volta Trucks engineers and qualified drivers, went to the firm’s Hinckley Superhub in Leicestershire and trialled the vehicle on a range of pre-determined routes including motorways, A-roads and urban centres, albeit with no parcels.

The trials are part of DPD’s wider aim is to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK.

The company is currently on track to have over 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road this year and 4,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities using electric vehicles only.

The purpose-built, full-electric Volta Zero truck has an operating pure-electric range of 150 – 200 kms and is designed to significantly cut the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres.

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The truck has also been designed with vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety in mind, with a central driving position and much lower seat height within the glass house-style cab design, which gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots.

The Beta Trials are part of Volta’s test and development programme and a key step towards the start of customer production in early 2023.

Olly Craughan, head of sustainability at DPD commented, “It was fantastic to get our hands on a Volta Zero and put it through its paces, with our own drivers alongside Volta Trucks’ engineers.

“We had the truck for five days and it is very impressive. The trial is an opportunity for us to test the vehicle first-hand, while helping Volta Trucks see exactly how it performs in real-life scenarios and on typical routes.

“Working with the Volta Trucks team in the cab gave us a great insight into what they are doing and how the truck could fit into the fleet.

“Increasingly we are operating in low or zero-emission zones in major cities, so with micro-depots and all-electric city centre van fleets we have already transformed our urban delivery strategy. But there is a real need for bigger, green vehicles that can fit into that strategy.”