By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) - Commercial electric vehicle (EV) startup Volta Trucks on Tuesday unveiled two smaller zero-emission truck models that will start production in 2025, opening more options for urban deliveries and in EU markets with restrictions for Sunday operations.
Stockholm-based Volta Trucks, which also operates in the UK, said it would launch a fleet of test vehicles of its 7.5 tonne and 12 tonne trucks for customers in 2024.
The new models will join the startup's Volta Zero, a 16-tonne fully-electric truck, which is due to start series production later this year, and an 18 tonne model that should go into production in 2023.
In February, Volta Trucks said it had raised 230 million euros ($247 million) to fund the launch of series production of the Volta Zero in late 2022.
Some European Union countries have bans on trucks over 7.5 tonnes operating on Sundays or holidays, and cities such as Amsterdam do not allow trucks over that weight to protect old streets and bridges.
While some European cities also plan restrictions on diesel commercial vehicles - Paris will ban them in 2024 - and a number of manufacturers are testing prototypes, there are virtually no electric trucks in these weight segments available today. Volta Trucks' 7.5 tonne and 12 tonne models will be among the first to market.
"Our customers tell us that they really appreciate the safety and zero-emission attributes of the 16-tonne Volta Zero, but also need smaller 7.5- and 12-tonne vehicles in their operations," Volta Trucks' Chief Executive Essa Al-Saleh said in a statement.
The startup currently has orders for around 6,000 electric trucks, including 1,500 ordered by Deutsche Bahn's logistics unit Schenker.
Volta Trucks plans to make 5,000 trucks in 2023 and its annual production should rise to 27,000 by 2025.
($1 = 0.9326 euros)
(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter)