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Prodrive is helping build an electric lorry with McLaren F1 seating

The rally wizards are turning their hands to commercial vehicles

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Swedish start-up Volta Trucks has called upon Prodrive to help engineer its new all-electric HGV. Yep, the same Prodrive that lists six WRC titles, five Le Mans class wins and four British Touring Car Championship trophies among its achievements is now working on a lorry. 

Alongside its motorsport endeavours, the Banbury-based firm has actually been working on EV and hybrid technology since 2001, so this isn’t completely out of the blue. You can see renders of the Volta above. Those looks are an improvement on the lorries of today, aren’t they?

The big news is that electrification, though. Even commercial vehicles won’t be able to avoid the shift away from diesel power forever, and surely the quicker we can get the tech working, the better. Especially given the time these things spend in town.

Volta aims to have a driveable prototype ready by the summer of next year, and the aim is for 100 miles of range, a top speed of 50mph and enough electric grunt to “briskly negotiate the on-off ramps and slip roads typical of urban elevated routes,” says Prodrive.

The 16-tonne lorry is also being designed to be as pedestrian-friendly as possible. That means the driver will be sat centrally and at street eye level, with plenty of glass allowing for a 220-degree field of vision. Rear view cameras instead of wing mirrors also apparently eliminate dangerous blind spots. 

Plus, that central driving position means the two passenger seats are arranged on either side and just behind the driver, McLaren F1-style. Heck yeah. 

Elsewhere, the Volta will feature bus-style sliding doors that minimise intrusion into the paths of pedestrians or cyclists, whereas the rear of the truck will comply with current standards to ensure compatibility with existing loading bays and the like. 

Reckon we’ll be seeing these on the road in the near future, Internet? 

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