Volta Trucks, a Swedish electric vehicle startup that believes it can build better urban delivery vehicles and other trucks that are safer and have a smaller carbon footprint than their gas-guzzling, more clumsy counterparts, has raised a large round of funding to help it complete the final mile of development before its Volta Zero trucks go into commercial production later this year. The company has raised €230 million (about $260 million) in a Series C round of fundraising, valuing it at slightly over $490 million (€433 million).
Volta will use the funds to fund technical and business operations as it prepares to roll out its first trucks, which will be backed by a long list of clients, including: Volta said that the pre-order book for its all-electric Volta Zero — billed as the world’s first fully electric, purpose-built commercial freight vehicle tailored for urban freight distribution — had surpassed €1.2 billion and includes more than 5,000 vehicles. Volta’s overall business approach will include both selling trucks and providing trucking-as-a-service.
Luxor Capital, based in New York, oversaw the company’s €37 million Series B financing in September 2021 and will lead this round as well. Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström (located in Stockholm, like Volta), supply chain services major Agility, and B-FLEXION (previously Waypoint Capital) were also present. Volta has not announced its valuation, but according to Pitchbook data, it is now slightly over $490 million – a figure that we have recently corroborated with people close to the company. Volta’s rapid growth, as well as the significant amount of capital it has raised to date — more than $325 million — are part of a larger shift in the automobile industry. Startups see an opportunity to produce new vehicles that disrupt the current status quo with safer and cleaner alternatives by leveraging new manufacturing techniques, batter technology, and energy infrastructure.
Investors are putting their money behind these enterprises to offer them more firepower and credibility with potential buyers, perhaps inspired by the success of electric attempts like Tesla’s with smaller automobiles. These are all necessary building pieces for cars to enter the next generation of technological innovation, in which trucks like the Volta become hardware platforms capable of gathering and processing enormous data volumes to assist vehicles and businesses use them perform at unprecedented levels of productivity.
That is, at least, the theory. The journey there is invariably slower and more expensive than the original optimistic projects, which is another reason why it’s critical for startups in the field to raise significant rounds and assemble groups of strategic investors to assist them in getting to market. This year, Volta plans to invest in its engineering and production processes, as well as construct prototypes to test its concepts for the Volta Zero.
These will then be rolled out to early customers for pilots in London and Paris, cities where delivery trucks are common but dangerous due to traffic congestion, narrow streets, and the proliferation of cyclists and other micromobility users, making them ideal markets for Volta’s trucks, which claim not only to produce less emissions — the first trucks will have a pure-electric range of 150 – 200 kms (95 – 125 miles) and eliminate an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions — but also to reduce They will not, it appears, have self-driving capabilities at first.
“We’re looking towards autonomous / self-driving vehicles for the future, but as a vehicle designed exclusively for city center distribution and delivery, the commodities inside the vehicle will need to be delivered from the vehicle to their final destination.” As a result, the vehicle’s mission will always require the presence of a human, making self-driving less important for this type of vehicle,” according to a spokeswoman.