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Volta Trucks’ EV approval to bring huge Hull orders to life as 240 jobs are created


Volta Trucks, the company behind a massive contract with Hull-based Paneltex, has received European approval to deliver its new model at scale, which will create 240 new jobs.

The Volta Zero is the world's first purpose-built all-electric 16-tonne vehicle, and it has received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

Paneltex will supply the cargo box for the Austrian-made trucks and is currently constructing a large new factory in East Yorkshire to handle the demand.

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A total of 240 new jobs are expected to be created at Dianthus Business Park in Newport as the site is expanded to meet demand.

Essa Al-Saleh, chief executive at Volta Trucks, said: “Receiving the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval is a huge milestone for Volta Trucks, and our mission to make city centre streets safer and more sustainable for all. We’ve developed a completely new vehicle from the ground up, and it’s a testament to our engineering and developments teams that the Volta Zero has passed these stringent and demanding tests so quickly.

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“We are now all set for the start of series production at our manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria, to put trucks into the hands of our customers, and start the work of delivering on our mission.”

As part of a pilot fleet of vehicles, second-generation 'production verification' prototypes will be delivered to customers across Europe soon.

Customers will be able to borrow these for extended periods of time, allowing fleet operators to fully understand how the all-electric medium-duty truck will fit into their operations.

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The Swedish company, which has established service and maintenance hubs in London, France, Germany, and Spain, expects to begin proper production within the next few months.

Paneltex is behind the specialist kitting out of refrigerated supermarket delivery vehicles across the UK and North America, where there has been tremendous growth as a result of the explosion of online ordering.

The Newport base comes on the heels of record performance at its Hull operations, with a further 40 percent uplift anticipated with the record-breaking contract.

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Chris Berridge, managing director, said: “We are delighted that the Volta Zero has achieved the European Whole Vehicle Approval accreditation, necessary to allow it to enter service in volume as a full type approved vehicle.

“We have been working closely with Volta Trucks to ensure that Paneltex can also offer our own Whole Vehicle Approvals for second stage upfit which enables further development of specialised cargo bodies to add to the standard products.

“Construction of the production verification fleet has been ongoing both at Steyr in Austria and at Paneltex in Hull and we are ready to begin the supply of production cargo bodies from Hull on time.

“Equipping our new factory at Dianthus Park remains on track, although still subject to receiving planning consent for the change of use for the building. We are intending that this plant will begin operation this summer to support the rapid ramp-up of truck production in Austria from that point. This is a significant and exciting development for Paneltex and we are proud to be supporting the design and manufacture of such an innovative zero-emissions truck product. The whole truck has been re-imagined from the ground up to suit 21st century urban logistics and we believe that it will have global appeal.”

Source: Business Live

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