Volvo FH 500 6×2 tractor unit

Opinion: What the Volta Zero is like inside The Volta Zero lays claim to some impressive statistic, reducing CO2 and creating numerous jobs, as many as 130, from its UK-based supply chain. Sitting in the central seat you get a commanding view of your surroundings with narrow A-pillars of around 250mm and similarly size B-pillars, for the door uprights, being the only obstructions in a view that lets you look beyond 180-degrees behind you thanks to the forward driving position.

The seat height also puts you in the direct eye-line of pedestrians, which should hopefully increase safety. Build quality on this production models appears high, with large upright display screens (currently Apple iPads) either side of the steering wheel for navigation and vehicle information and more traditional readouts on a horizontal digital dash ahead. One thing missing, however, is storage.

While this might be an urban distribution vehicle, its driver won’t be devoid of possessions and three coat hangers, as well as two cupholders either side of the steering wheel, and a cupholder next to each of the rear passenger seats are unlikely to be sufficient – you have to question if the designer has spent any real time speaking with drivers.

As an early production model it shows promise and while impressive overhead lighting panels and chunky grab handles on the dash at the side of the cabin add to the aesthetics, the functional aspect of the left and right steps being different sizes (altering your head height on entry or exit) could be cause for concern if during a busy multidrop shift the driver were to misjudge their approach.

Like the electric powertrain technology it is championing, the Volta Zero is in its infancy as an HGV.