New electric delivery vehicles hitting Canadian market signals opportunity for fleet operators
Big names like Amazon and FedEx lead the way, but our fully electric vans roundup shows that there are more and more options coming to Canada for companies looking to electrify their fleets
While the environmental and health benefits of adopting electric vehicles have long been known, the mass electrification business model is now becoming equally compelling for fleet managers. A recent study found that more than 60 percent of fleets would make financial gains by electrifying their vehicles today, thanks to the significant long-term fuel savings that electric vehicles bring.
In addition to the rapidly growing market for electric vehicles for passenger vehicles, the electric delivery truck space is experiencing rapid and remarkable growth that could directly impact the industry’s fleets and offer an opportunity to fleet managers planning to electrify.
With 35,914 commercial vans sold in Canada in 2020 alone, there’s a sizable market and early adopters are showing the demand for electric options is growing. A number of key fleets like Pride Group, an Ontario-based logistics company, have already signed up. Amazon has hired Rivian to produce its prime electric van and has pledged to have 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030. President Joe Biden announced in January that the US government’s total fleet is approximately 650,000 vehicles, most of which are postal vehicles. would also be replaced by electric models.
Here we take a look at all of the electric vans currently available and planned on Canadian roads in the next few years, as well as some of the major fleets nationally and internationally that are leading by example by pledging to add these zero vans. Emission vehicles (ZEV) to their fleets.
GM Brightdrop EV600
Earlier this year, General Motors announced its plan to phase out internal combustion vehicles entirely by 2035 – – A strategy that includes the introduction of 30 new fully electric vehicle models by 2025. Among the first to be debuted is the Brightdrop EV600, a commercial electric van that will be available to Canadian customers by the end of this year.
The vehicle is designed to deliver goods over long distances Powered by GM’s new Ultium battery system and a range of up to 400 kilometers when fully charged. The vehicle will be assembled in Ontario after GM invested $ 1 billion to convert CAMI’s Ingersoll assembly plant into Canada’s first major electric vehicle auto plant.
FedEx will currently be the first major consumer of the EV600, which brings it closer to its promise to be fully carbon neutral by 2040. Although the number of vehicles purchased has not been disclosed, FedEx plans to make half of global vehicle purchases by 2025.
The first FedEx EV600s are expected to be on the road by the end of this year.
The fully electric Ford E-Transit Van
Ford’s full-size e-transit van announced in November 2020 will be available as a 2022 model at all Ford dealerships in Canada in late 2021, shortly after the introduction of Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E and in time to catch up with GM’s EV600 to compete.
As with the gasoline-powered Ford Transit, there are six different E-Transit models with three wheelbases and three height options to choose from. Ford estimates the van will have a range of 200 kilometers and prices will start at $ 58,000 – about $ 18,000 more than its gasoline counterpart. The van is assembled in Kansas City, Missouri and uses the LG Chem battery pack that is also included in the Mach-E.
Canoo Multipurpose Delivery Vehicle (MPDV)
The electric Canoo multi-purpose delivery vehicle
Canoo is a Los Angeles-based electric vehicle company whose multi-purpose delivery vehicle, aptly named MPDV, is “built specifically for the needs of small businesses and large last-mile delivery companies.” The sleek, box-shaped EV will first see streets in a limited US version in 2022, followed by a wider North American rollout, including Canada, in 2023.
The MPDV will be available in two standard sizes: the MPDV1 with 230 cubic feet of cargo space; and the larger MPDV2 at 500 cubic feet. Each battery has 40, 60 and 80 kWh battery options with a charging range of 210 to 370 kilometers for the MPDV1 and 145 to 305 kilometers for the MPDV2. The MPDV1 has a starting price of $ 33,000.
Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van
While the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter delivery van has been available in Europe since 2019, it is currently on the right track to leave Ford and GM electric vehicles behind in the North American market by a few years. The eSprinter is expected to be available in the US and Canada in the third quarter of 2023.
The European eSprinter with front-wheel drive has a range of around 167 kilometers and a maximum payload of around 890 kilograms. In 2020, Amazon bought 1,200 vehicles for European deliveries.
London-based electric vehicle maker Arrival announced its commercial cargo EV (simply called Arrival Van) last year. While full production of the vehicles will not begin until the third quarter of 2022, public road trials with “key customers” will begin this summer.
To achieve that goal, Arrival announced this month that they will be opening their second microfactory in the United States – a $ 41.2 million facility in West Charlotte, North Carolina. Production will start there in the third quarter of 2022. Arrival’s assembly model is based on micro-factories that can be built for less than $ 50 million, compared to the typical $ 1 billion price for a car factory. Arrival’s two microfactories are already in operation (in Bicester, near London, and in Rock Hill, South Carolina). The company aims to open 31 micro-factories by 2024, underscoring the overall strategy of rapid growth.
The arrival hit the headlines last spring when UPS announced in a press release it was buying 10,000 of its vans, which will be in service in the UK, Europe and North America by 2024. In addition to the order, UPS announced an unspecified size investment in Arrival and found that Arrival UPS vehicles “offer compelling economic and environmental benefits to enable a seamless and cost-effective transition to a zero-emission fleet.”
Michigan-based company Bollinger Motors presented concept images for its DELIVER-E electric freight car for the first time last summer. The low-loader will be available with battery size options from 70 kWh to 120 kWh, as well as in various wheelbase sizes and vehicle classes.
Bollinger has announced that the DELIVER-E will go into production in 2022 for American and Canadian customers in cooperation with a manufacturing partner not yet named. On the company website, Bollinger says, “We are prioritizing the US and Canada markets for our first production run.”
Workhorse Group C series
Workhorse is an electric vehicle manufacturer based in Cincinnati, Ohio that partnered with UPS to manufacture an electric delivery van with a range of 160 kilometers, one charge. Nine hundred and fifty of these vans, now referred to as the C-Series, were ultimately purchased and used by UPS. More recently, the Pride Group, a Mississauga-based freight forwarding and logistics company, announced an order for more than 6,300 C-Series vehicles in January.
A Workhorse C-series electric delivery truck
Canadian delivery fleets were preparing to catch the E-wave
IIt’s not surprising that Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and the USPS are taking steps toward electrification. While some of these fleets include North America, it remains to be seen to what extent Canada’s largest national fleets do the same.
Purolator, which operates a fleet of over 4,000 delivery vehicles across Canada, began testing three compact, all-electric, low-speed trucks in Montreal and Toronto last fall for their ability to improve last mile deliveries in dense urban centers.
The slow electric vehicles can transport 80 parcels and have a range of 80 kilometers at speeds between 32 and 40 kilometers. According to a company spokesman, any vehicle can replace an average fuel-powered truck that provides the same operating performance while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 24 tons of CO2 per year. Elsewhere in its fleet, Purolator operates 323 hybrid electric vehicles and five fully electric cargo bikes.
Canada Post also operates a relatively small number of hybrid electric vehicles: 374 in a fleet of over 13,000 vehicles as of 2019. As early as 2011, four eStar Navistar vans were used for regular service.
There are signs that there are bigger plans. Last summer, Canada Post launched a call for proposals to purchase “a limited quantity of EVs for the purpose of conducting a pilot project of field testing vehicles in an operational setting … to help Canada Post develop and refine the requirements, Specifications and requirements to support evaluation criteria to be used in the future, expected tenders for the procurement of electric vehicles. “However, no details of the scope of this pilot project or the progress or results achieved to date have been published.
With options from several older automakers as well as numerous innovative startups on Canadian roads by the end of the year, 2021 could is a turning point for both those looking to electrify their fleets and those who are late.