List of all-electric MPV, LDV, EV panel vans and EV taxi’s
Last mile delivery is fast becoming a key development area for electric vehicles. This obvious market for electric vehicles has been neglected by automakers. Last mile delivery and taxi services are expected to be a key area for regulators to focus on in their attempt to reach emission targets and combat inner-city pollution. The average distance traveled by MPVs used as multi people transporters and delivery vans easily fall in the rangeability of the latest battery technology.
Although not as comprehensive yet as our passenger vehicle database wattEV2buy has started following this trend and list all electric MPV and LDV EVs.
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ELECTRIC PANEL VANS IN THE NEWS
Week 8 2018 - Mercedes eActros enters pilot phase
Mercedes announced that it would pilot ten of its eActros electric trucks with customers. At first, the focus will be on inner-city goods and delivery traffic, as the Mercedes-Benz eActros is well capable of covering the ranges required in this sector. The pilot customers will test the vehicles in real operations for twelve months, and the trucks will then go a second round of customers for a further twelve months. The innovation fleet will, therefore, be in operation until at least mid-2020. The aim is to achieve series production maturity for economically competitive electric trucks for heavy inner-city distribution operations from 2021.
The Mercedes eActros Truck has a range of 200km provided through a 240kWh lithium battery and is charged through a system with more than 400V and a 1000A current.
Week 6 2018 - Mercedes announces electric Sprinter
Mercedes Benz launched the 3rd generation of its popular Sprinter LDV this week. The Sprinter sold over 3.4 million vehicles in 130 countries and will now be available from 2019 with an electric drivetrain as the Mercedes eSprinter LDV. The new eSprinter which can be configured for over 1,700 custom purposes and is standard equipped with Mercedes PRO connect solution providing fleet managers with a tool to connect with all drivers and vehicles in his/her fleet.
Week 5 2018 - Renault trucks to go electric in 2019
Renault Trucks, a Volvo owned company, announced that it will bring a range of electric trucks to market in 2019. Renault Trucks sees the technology as indispensable for city center access. Renault Trucks have been field testing EV technology with various partners such as Nestle and Delancy Group with experimental full-electric 12 to 16-tonne trucks. Renault Trucks also has a 4.5-tonne Maxity Electric truck since 2010. A dedicated assembly line for all-electric trucks is being installed at Renault Trucks’ Blainville-sur-Orne plant in Normandy, France.
Week 4 2018 - Volvo trucks to offer medium duty electric truck
Volvo Trucks announced that it aims to sell medium-duty electric trucks from next year with Europe as its initial target market. According to the Volvo Truck President, Claes Nilsson, “Electromobility is fully in line with Volvo Truck’s long-term commitment for sustainable urban development and zero emissions”. Mr. Nillson went further saying “We believe in full electrification for urban distribution as a first step. However, we are working with electrification for other transport applications. This is only the beginning.” Volvo is gearing for the transition towards electrification of its commercial vehicles working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of charging infrastructure and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for electrical trucks according to Jonas Odermalm the Swedish automakers Head of product strategy medium-duty vehicles. Volvo is competing with other commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler and Isuzu to produce electric light delivery vehicles which provide reduced noise and cleaner vehicles for cities which can operate at night when it does not have to compete for road space traditionally limited to daylight operations.
In related news, Volvo’s parent company, Geely, and US-based VIA Motors entered into a JV partnership to develop range extended medium-duty electric trucks for the Chinese, North-American and Latin American markets.
VIA Motors develops and markets extended-range electric (eREV) and all-electric (EV) power-train systems, incorporating industry-leading VIA developed vehicle software and control systems technology, which provides clean energy solutions for most vehicle classes from light duty through Class 8. VIA’s vehicle integration capability, at both production facilities in Utah and Mexico, provides a range of commercial vehicles to meet zero emissions requirements. VIA vehicles are marketed under the VTRUXtm brand and VIA power-train systems V-Drivetm brand.
The JV targets 2019 as the launch date for its first truck in China and the America’s. The JV makes provision for the co-development of medium-duty trucks by VIA Motors and Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicles (“GCV”) which include a technology transfer of VIA software and control systems.
Week 42 2017 - VW unveils e-Delivery Truck
Volkswagen unveiled the e-Delivery electric distribution truck during the Innovation Day event in Hamburg this week. The-Delivery truck, which is to be assembled at Volkswagen Caminhões e Onibus in Brazil in 2020 is one of the results of the German company’s new focus on alternative drive platforms coupled with autonomy and connectivity. The Truck and Bus unit is also making significant progress in last mile EV solutions. Dr. Scholz, CEO of VW Commercial Vehicles said “The eCrafter is a high-performing van with a range of up to about 200 km. The vehicle will be shipped to selected customers by the end of 2017. The VW I.D. Buzz Cargo, a compact van that runs on electricity, is also being developed, its design and suitability for day-to-day life reminiscent of those of the classic VW Bulli.” The model is set to be launched in 2022.
Navistar, VW’s partner in the USA is also to use the new electric platform for distribution trucks from 2019. In Europe, MAN is said to start rolling out a test fleet of nine electric distribution trucks to customers in Austria as soon as the end of 2017, targeting retailers, brewers, and haulers. MAN will follow the test phase with a limited release of trucks from the end of 2018.
Week 40 2017 - SAIC Maxus EV80 launched in Europe
Light Delivery Vehicles is hotting up as the next growth market in the EV sector. Recently we have seen some new and improved models announced in this vehicle class. The drive to make the last mile 100% electric is a low hanging fruit and an obvious target for regulators enforcing emission control in cities. Already Chinese manufacturers have electrified a host of existing combustion LDVs. This week wattEV2buy published a list of over 1,400 special vehicles in China which consists mostly of cargo vans, panel vans, and multi-purpose vehicles.
This week big manufacturers SAIC and Nissan announced the launch of two new electric LDVs. Nissan unveiled the new e-NV200 with a range of 280km (175mi). SAIC unveiled the Maxus EV80, available as a panel van and a chassis cab. The Maxus EV80 has a cargo area length of 3300 mm, width of 1770 mm and height of 1710 mm, resulting in a total volume of 10.2 m3 accessible through wide-opening rear and side doors and capable of a maximum payload of 950 kg (2,100 lbs) and a maximum towing mass of 750 kg (1,650 lbs). The EV80 has a range of 200 km (124 miles) and charges in two hours. The Maxus EV80 LDV comes with a three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty and a battery warranty of five years or 100,000 km.
Flowing from Ford‘s strategy shift announced above it transpired that the US automaker would focus on developing EV vans for the Chinese market in an attempt to play catch-up.
2017 Week 34 - University of Warwick develops delivery EV prototype
World-leading research and education group, WMG, the University of Warwick, and design company Astheimer unveiled a lightweight prototype delivery vehicle, the DELIVER-E this week. According to a press release by Warwick University advanced battery experts, at WMG fitted the vehicle with a powerful 48V 6.5kWh battery system, increasing its peak power from 12 kilowatts to 36 kilowatt – helping it to cope with an increased weight of goods, and to conserve energy despite the start-stop nature of deliveries. DELIVER-E will be showcased as a demonstrator, at a number of events through the year. WMG and collaborative partners will also use it when undertaking research around electric vehicles.
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China’s 2018 batch of new EV models have some surprisingly good cars threatening Western automakers still grappling how to catch-up to the increased popularity of EVs. While big auto plans to bring new models to market in 2020 China is already pushing out large amounts of new EV models.