Stockholm based Electric truck startup Volta Trucks announced this week that its first trucks will be made under contract in Austria by Steyr Automotive , starting late next year at a MAN truck plant in Austria.
In what is a slightly strange twist MAN recently sold the plant off to the a newly formed Steyr Automotive, which has taken over the factory but will keep making vehicles for MAN until 2023, while also offering contract manufacturer for other firms, including Volta.
As part of a cost cutting plan, Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm, Traton sold off the MAN plant in Steyr, to Steyr Automotive, which is run by Siegfried Wolf a former executive of Canadian automotive component supplier Magna International.
Volta Trucks, which while headquartered in Sweden, also has operations in the UK, needs to start producing its 16-tonne electric Volta Zero, in late 2022 and says it will produce 5,000 vehicles for customers in 2023, ahead of a diesel truck ban in Paris effective in 2024.
Instead of building its own expensive plant and slogging through working out how to build its electric trucks at scale, Volta has hired Steyr Automotive to build them.
“Apart from an excellent manufacturing facility, Steyr Automotive has trained engineers and experienced managers at all levels of their workforce,” Volta Trucks chief technology officer Kjell Waloen said.
“If you start up a brand new product in a brand new plant without experience, you multiply the risks and complications many, many times,” Waloen added.
Rather than going through “manufacturing hell” as Tesla has with ramping up production of just about all of its models, most particularly its mass-market Model 3 sedan in 2017 and 2018, several electric startups have chosen to hand that over production to operators who already build vehicles at scale.
REE Automotive and Fisker have both teamed up with Magna to build their EVs, while Fisker has a similar agreement with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co.
Volta Trucks currently plans four electric truck models of different sizes and says it expects to produce more than 27,000 trucks annually by 2025.