One of the latest entrants to the EV market, Volta Trucks AB, has filed for Bankruptcy. Despite the new Volta Zero truck having a range of 200km, Volta Trucks are not set to go the distance following the surprise failure of its battery supplier, Proterra Inc. Proterra filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in August 2023.
Jumping on the bandwagon of other EV start ups including Lucid, Canoo, Fisker and Arrival, founder of Volta Trucks, Car-Magnus Norden, sought to capitalise on the excitement amongst investors. Founded in 2019, Volta Trucks was born with the aim of accelerating the transition to fully electric vehicles. Reducing deaths caused by air pollution was (and still is according to Volta Trucks website) the driving force behind Volta Trucks.
Innovations like a central driving position, 360 degree cameras and 220 degree driver vision set to lead the way in supplying companies fully electric lorries fleets to England, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. With pre orders of 5,000 vehicles across 5 European countries and plans to scale up, Volta looked set for a promising future.
At one stage there was a euphoria amongst investors looking for the new next “Tesla”. Many doubting established, traditional car manufacturers from making head way into the EV market. At one stage truck maker, Rivian had its shares valued more than Volkswagen and luxury EV entrant, Lucid valued more than Ford. Despite its initial optimism, Volta Trucks like other EV entrants have encountered difficult terrain as market uncertainties overtake investor excitement.
Volta Trucks has undoubtedly been hit by a bolt of lightening with the sudden bankruptcy of its main battery supplier Proterra. Established in 2003 and going public in 2021 Proterra were a well established producer of electric batteries. However, inflation and a tightening of capital did not assist Proterra’s need for an extensive amount of working capital.
Proterra’s bankruptcy has significantly impacted Volta’s manufacturing plans resulting in a reduction of the number of vehicles they had forecasted to produce denting their ability to raise finance. There seems to be a growing realisation amongst many EV entrants that making vehicles is not smooth sailing and Volta have no other option but to put the brakes on.
As a result of Proterra and Volta Trucks AB filing for bankruptcy, Volta Trading Limited (the UK business and engineering operations) are expected to appoint insolvency practitioners, Alvaraz and Marsal to get into the driving seat and act as Administrators. The UK arm operates across sites in Reading, Warwick and Coventry with around 600 employees set for uncertainty.
It seems that Volta’s vision for their sustainable zero emissions truck, Volta Zero, is destined to go from hero to zero.