What will Covid-19 do to the EV delivery vehicle market?

Jon Lawson

The lockdown saw vehicle sales fall off a cliff, but will this new way of doing things be a godsend for manufacturers who can electrify light delivery vehicles? 

IDTechEx certainly thinks so and the company has just released its Electric Light Commercial Vehicles 2020-2030 report. It states, “Restrictions on movement and the resulting decrease in road traffic have seen air pollution levels fall dramatically in cities around the world. This has provided demonstrable evidence to policymakers of the benefit for urban environments when internal combustion engine vehicles do not run and puts wind in the sales of electric vehicle OEMs.”

Several of the major European players including Mercedes, Citroen, Toyota and Vauxhall are planning to take advantage of this interest. The most recent company to announce it’s entering the fray is the LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) which is launching VN5, a new light commercial van. Expected to be available later this year, range is up to 300 miles and payload is 830kg. 

In the US the Workhorse Group has just announced healthy orders, including an initial purchase order for 20 of its all-electric C-1000 delivery vehicles from Cincinnati-based, newly-launched trucking company, eTrucks. Bill Hamilton, eTrucks Managing Partner, noted, "The Workhorse C-Series product line offers superior capabilities from any other legacy delivery vehicle in the market, and we believe our fleet customers will appreciate the reduced operating costs that come from a quiet-riding electric vehicle option. Going forward, we plan to offer these vehicles on a national platform for sale and leasing."

Workhorse has also done a deal with Ryder to offer the C-Series step-van through the company's ChoiceLease and SelectCare product lines, as well as for short-term rentals. Could this be a trend in the making?

Chris Nordh, Senior Director, Advanced Vehicle Technology & Energy Products at Ryder said, “We see immediate opportunities for customers to realise the benefits of our electric vehicles and turnkey infrastructure model… it provides customers the ability to try the vehicles in various markets without any long-term commitment. Our customers have already expressed a strong interest, and we are excited to bring this program forward.”




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