Volta Trucks incorporates Bcomp’s natural fiber technologies in automotive application
Source | Volta Trucks
Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland), a manufacturer of lightweight solutions for the automotive industry, reported its partnership with Swedish company, Volta Trucks. Initiating the development of the Volta Zero, which is said to be the world’s first purpose-built, 16-tonne electric vehicle designed for inner-city freight deliveries, Volta Trucks is also adopting Bcomp’s ampliTex and powerRibs natural fiber technologies for stiff and lightweight body panels.
In addition to the implementation of an electric drivetrain — which will enable 24-hour usage of the Volta Zero while reducing noise pollution — the ampliTex technical fabrics, reinforced by Bcomp’s powerRibs grid technology is said further the transportation’s sustainability goals. Bcomp says it will also enable significant weight savings while causing up to 75% lower CO2 emissions compared to matching carbon fiber parts. In addition to Bcomp’s flax fibers, the company says the Volta Trucks uses a novel bio-based and biodegradable resin derived from rapeseed oil to further reduce the footprint of the whole vehicle. At the end of their life, Bcomp notes, parts made from natural flax fibers can become a CO2-neutral energy source when incinerated through standard waste management system for heat recovery, without residual waste, opposed to traditional composite materials that often end up in landfills.
Most importantly, Bcomp says the construction with the ampliTex and powerRibs technologies enables the Volta Zero to become a significantly safer vehicle. For example, Bcomp says the body panels will not shatter upon impact and cause a risk of further injury with sharp edges and debris but rather deform and finally fail in a more flexible and safer way. Moreover, flax composites being non-conductive, are said to pose less risk in the event of a vehicle accident.
The first prototype Volta Zero is currently being built and will be launched later in 2020 with the first pilot test vehicles due to start evaluation with customers in the first quarter of 2021.
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