By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) - Deutsche Bahn's logistics unit Schenker will order almost 1,500 electric trucks from startup Volta Trucks to transport goods from European terminals into city centres and urban areas, the companies said on Tuesday.
DB Schenker will use prototype electric trucks in the spring and summer of 2022 in distribution operations, findings from which will be used in the production of 1,470 electric trucks.
Those trucks will be made at a former MAN truck plant in Austria that was taken over by Steyr Automotive.
The electric trucks will operate at 10 DB Schenker locations in five countries.
The companies didn't immediately provide details on the transaction's value.
Stockholm-based Volta Trucks, which also operates in the UK, plans to start production of the Volta Zero, a 16-tonne electric truck, in 2022.
Bans on fossil-fuel commercial vehicles will take effect in some European cities over the next few years, putting pressure on logistics providers to find zero-emission alternatives.
"The large-scale partnership with Volta Trucks allows us to significantly increase the pace of electrification of our fleet and invest in greener transport solutions," Cyrille Bonjean, DB Schenker's executive vice president for land transport in Europe, said in a statement.
DB Schenker has around 74,200 employees in over 130 countries.
The latest order brings Volta Trucks' order book to around 4,500 electric trucks. It previous biggest public order was for 1,000 trucks, from French refrigerated truck firm Petit Forestier.
(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)