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E&E News: How the Pandemic is Delivering the Electric Truck

Posted by David Ferris on Sep 25, 2020

E&E News reports how COVID-19 has impacted electric truck transition in the delivery industry with example of AEE member Amazon, quoting AEE's Matt Stanberry. Read excerpts below and the full piece here (sub. req.).

Call it a coronavirus side effect. As millions of homebound customers turn to e-commerce for shopping, a new kind of vehicle is starting to appear on the manifest: the electric delivery truck...

The number on the roads today is tiny, and the pilot programs to test them are early, meaning they won't arrive in big numbers soon. Enormous barriers stand in the way of the electric delivery vehicle shoving the ever-present diesel truck off the curb.

But UPS and Amazon.com have tens of thousands of them on order. That, along with an assist from some muscular regulations in California and new coronavirus shopping habits, has experts guessing that delivery trucks — ones on the smaller side of big — will be the catalyst to make all sorts of electric trucks possible...

The universe of electric commercial trucks is expanding quickly, though it might still be years before they are delivering Christmas presents in large numbers.

Beyond Rivian and Arrival and their respective big orders with Amazon and UPS, the roster of truck makers wanting into the market is multiplying. It helps that this is a niche where market leader Tesla Inc. hasn't yet laid a claim...

At the same time, fleet truck makers don't need to go to the expense of heavily customizing their vehicles to appeal to the whims of the regular carbuyer.

A fleet manager is "the purely rational buyer," said Matt Stanberry, a managing director at the nonprofit Advanced Energy Economy. "They don't care about moon roofs, car colors, the things that we all think about when we buy a car. They are all about functionality. Does it meet the needs of what I need for the job?"

Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.).

Topics: AEE In The News