This year, Volta Trucks, the Swedish electric vehicle startup that believes it can build safer and more environmentally friendly urban delivery vehicles and other trucks than their gas-guzzling, more clumsy counterparts, has closed a significant funding round to help it complete the final mile of work before its Volta Zero trucks go into commercial production later this year.
There was a Series C round of fundraising of €230 million (around $260 million), which purports to value the firm at $490 million (€433 million). Prior to the production of its first vehicles, Volta will be using the funds to support engineering and commercial activities in order to build a strong client base: To far, Volta has received over €1.2 billion in orders for its zero-emission Volta Zero commercial freight cars, which it claims to be the first such vehicle specifically intended for urban freight delivery. The Volta Zero pre-order book presently covers over 5,000 vehicles. Both selling trucks and providing transportation services as a model for Volta’s larger business plan are important components of the company’s vision.
In September 2021, Luxor Capital, a New York-based investment firm, led the company’s €37 million Series B round. B-FLEXION (previously Waypoint Capital), supply chain services company Agility, and real estate investment firm Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström (located in Stockholm) also participated. According to Pitchbook statistics, Volta’s value has risen to little over $490 million, a number that we’ve validated with insiders.
Volta’s rapid development, and the $325 million in funding it has amassed so far, are part of a larger automotive revolution. When it comes to automobiles, startups see a great opportunity to design cars that are safer and more environmentally friendly by using new manufacturing processes, battery technology, and energy infrastructure. After seeing the success of electric projects such as Tesla’s compact vehicles, investors are throwing their money behind these enterprises in an attempt to give them more clout and credibility with potential buyers. Volta’s trucks are hardware platforms that can collect and process enormous data sets to enable the vehicles and companies employing them perform at unprecedented levels of productivity. These are all important building pieces for catapulting automobiles into the next wave of technological innovation.
At least, that’s the theory. As a result, it’s critical for firms in the field to raise significant rounds and bring together groups of key investors to assist them go to market faster and more cost-effectively than their original bright projections.
This year, Volta plans to invest in its engineering and manufacturing operations in order to create prototypes of the Volta Zero in order to test its concepts.
In London and Paris, where delivery trucks are commonplace but also dangerous due to traffic congestion, narrow streets, and the proliferation of cyclists and other micromobility users, 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 1.2M tonnes of carbon dioxide—but also to save money, Volta will be able to offer lower prices for its trucks, which will be available to early customers for pilots. Initially, it seems that they won’t be able to drive themselves.
For the time being, we’re looking at self-driving vehicles, but as a city centre distribution and delivery vehicle, the commodities inside the truck must be transported from the vehicle to their destination. ” According to a spokeswoman, this means that self-driving cars aren’t necessary for this sort of vehicle since they’ll always require a human operator.
Some of the money will be used to continue building smaller 7.5- and 12-ton full-electric Volta Zero variants (the initial model will be 16 tonnes), and ultimately a bigger 18-ton model.
As of 2023, the business expects to construct 5,000 cars in Austria, followed by 14,000 trucks in 2024 and up to 27,000 trucks in 2025.
“The successful and oversubscribed conclusion of our Series C funding round gives us a positive external validation of our journey,” said Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Volta Trucks, in a statement. “As an innovator and disruptor in commercial vehicles, we are working at industry-leading pace and have significant ambitions. Today’s closing of the Series C funding round, bringing €230 million into the company, gives us the financial runway to be able to deliver on all our goals as we transition from a start-up to a manufacturer of full-electric trucks. The confirmation of our orderbook of over 5,000 vehicles with an orderbook value exceeding €1.2 billion, gives us and our investors, confidence that our pioneering product and service offering is both wanted and needed by our customers.”
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