Tesla Electric-Truck Rival Volta Announces Good News for Battery Suppliers

Tesla Electric-Truck Rival

The commercial electric trucking market continues to heat up. The number of companies in the space for investors to follow are proliferating as new truck makers beef up their supply chains.

Wednesday, Sweden-based Volta Trucks announced a battery supplier for its all-electric, heavy-duty trucks. Volta will use Proterra batteries. “I’m delighted to welcome Proterra—a world-class innovative engineering partner—to the supply chain for the Volta Zero,” said Volta Trucks CEO Rob Fowler in the company’s news release.

Proterra is focused on battery applications for commercial vehicles and is going to be a publicly traded company by merging with special-purpose acquisition company ArcLight Clean Transition (ticker: ACTC). Today’s announcement represents entry for U.S.-based Proterra into the European trucking market.

ArcLight stock is up about 1% in premarket trading. Volta Trucks isn’t a publicly traded company yet and it isn’t related to the EV charging network, also named Volta. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, for comparison, are both flat.

The Volta Zero was launched in 2020 and the company plans to start customer trials at the end of 2021. The Zero is an all electric truck capable of carrying more than 9 tons of cargo. That’s less than an equivalent diesel powered truck can carry, but batteries are heavy. The range of a Volta Zero is listed at 90 to 125 miles. Lower range is also a function of batteries. The Volta Zero will come with a battery pack with about 180 kilowatt-hours of juice.

That, for comparison, is the size of about twoTesla (TSLA) battery packs. Tesla, of course, has its own plans for a semi truck. So do Nikola(NKLA), Plug Power (PLUG), Hyliion (HYLN) and others. The space for alternative-fuel heavy-duty trucks is getting crowded, just like the market for all-electric passenger cars.

Shorter range and lower capacity limits any EVs addressable market, but there are plenty of applications where trucks don’t drive down highways all day fully loaded. Tesla, for its part, is planning to launch its semi with longer range which means a larger battery pack. Tesla doesn’t have a cargo capacity listed on its specs and wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Volta also announced a deal with another suppler recently. Meritor (MTOR) will supply eAxles, which include the electric motor, transmission, and axle unit. That announcement was earlier in February.

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