Electric truck manufacturer, Volta Trucks, has succumbed to the pressures of bankruptcy in Sweden, highlighting the fragility of startups in the EV industry. The company’s remarkable journey culminated in the development of the Volta Zero, a pioneering 16-tonne all-electric truck with plans of expansion to Los Angeles by mid-2023. This ambition, however, was halted.
The demise of Volta Trucks doesn’t solely rest on its internal management; external supplier issues played a significant role. Proterra, Volta’s battery supplier, sought bankruptcy protection in August, presenting operational challenges for Volta. This unforeseen incident drastically reduced the number of vehicles Volta intended to produce, also complicating their fundraising efforts.
Industry Struggles Mirror Larger Trend
The fall of Volta Trucks isn’t an isolated event. The larger EV industry, particularly startups, grapple with similar setbacks. Lordstown Motors’ bankruptcy after five years and Arrival’s multiple layoffs underscore the industry’s volatility. Often, the remedy for such situations is to find a buyer for the existing technology, a route Volta Trucks may consider.
High Hopes, Bigger Falls
Beyond its Swedish operations, Volta Trucks had made significant strides in the United Kingdom. Despite raising around 300 million euros and boasting an impressive order book of more than 5,000 vehicles, the company still faced overwhelming challenges. Their plans for mass production from an Austrian factory were disrupted by the interconnected web of supplier issues and funding struggles.
It’s evident that while many EV startups manage to secure substantial investments, the path to mass production is riddled with obstacles. With the backdrop of rising interest rates making fundraising daunting, even well-established suppliers like Proterra are feeling the heat.
The EV domain, though promising a sustainable future, remains a testing ground for new entrants. As startups aim to revolutionize transportation, the intricate balance of innovation, funding, and dependable supply chains becomes pivotal. Those who navigate this terrain effectively will shape the industry’s future, while others may find themselves facing the same fate as Volta Trucks.