Electric truck manufacturer Volta Trucks has filed for bankruptcy in Sweden and is set to file for administration in England, after its production targets were hit by the demise of its battery supplier Proterra, which hampered its ability to raise funds.
The move sees 850 jobs under threat, of which 600 are in the UK, where the group recently opened a service hub in North London.
Volta is set to appoint insolvency practitioners from Alvarez & Marsal to deal with the administration of its English business.
In an announcement released today (17 October) Volta Trucks said: “The recent news that our battery supplier (Proterra) has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, has had a significant impact on our manufacturing plans, reducing the volume of vehicles that we had forecast to produce.
“The uncertainty with our battery supplier also negatively affected our ability to raise sufficient capital in an already challenging capital-raising environment for electric vehicle players.”
The company added: “With deep and sincere regret, the Board has therefore taken the difficult decision to take steps to file for bankruptcy proceedings in Sweden.
“The main trading entity of the group, Volta Trucks Limited, will shortly file for administration in England, with insolvency practitioners from Alvarez & Marsal anticipated to take office. Other group entities will also shortly file for insolvency proceedings in the relevant jurisdictions.”
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The electric truck manufacturer burst on the truck manufacturing scene in 2019 and by January this year was boasting its first 300 customer orders, worth an estimated £75m, for the production and 2023 delivery of its 16-tonne all-electric Volta Truck.
The group had also attracted major industry players to its ranks, including Claes Nilsson, former Volvo Trucks president and Dr Karl Viktor Schaller, former MAN chief technology officer.
It had also convinced major logistics firms to trial its trucks, including DPD and DSV, whilst vehicle hire giant Petit Forestier recently signed a rental and leasing deal for refrigerated versions of the 16-tonne and 18-tonne Volta Zero in the UK and Europe.
The group acknowledged Volta’s rapid rise in its statement today, saying: “Volta Trucks accomplished a great deal from a standing start in 2019, revolutionising commercial vehicle operations for a sustainable future.
“We created the world’s first purpose built 16-tonne all-electric truck, including a unique cab and chassis design, that would have contributed to decarbonising the environment and enhanced the health and safety and air quality of urban centres.
“Piloting in five countries in Europe, we received fantastic feedback, which led to a strong pipeline of highly reputed customers who wanted to introduce our Volta Zero Trucks into their fleets.”
It added: “The board has not taken this course easily or lightly and is fully aware of the significant impact this will have on the organisation’s dedicated workforce, as well as customers and partners.
“We would like to sincerely thank the Volta Trucks team and are incredibly proud of their pioneering work to deliver such an innovative zero emission commercial vehicle.”
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