August 28th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
Electric delivery vans are an important part of the EV revolution. Today, most delivery vans are powered by diesel or gasoline engines that spew out carbon dioxide and other pollutants during the entire work day whether they are driving or idling at the curb. And there are a lot of them out there, delivering packages at all hours of the day and night. The number of such vehicles may be small compared to the total number of vehicles on the road, but that fact that they are in constant operation during much of the working day means their emissions represent a larger proportion of total emissions from the transportation sector than their numbers would suggest.
Electric delivery vans have advantage over electric cars. While car buyers look almost exclusively at the window sticker, fleet operators look at total cost of ownership and return on investment. The lower cost of maintenance and fuel for electric vans coupled with lower down time waiting for repairs are the kinds of metrics that warm the cockles of a fleet manager’s heart.
Bollinger Motors, the start up electric vehicle company that makes an electric pickup truck and an electric SUV that are almost caricatures of ruggedness, wants to leverage is electric powertrain prowess to offer electric delivery vans as well. In a press release, the company says it can build Class 2B, Class 3, Class 4, and Class 5 trucks with a number of wheelbase configurations using its all-electric skateboard design. It also says it can offer customers a choice of 70, 105, 140, 175, or 210 kWh batteries depending on the amount of range and cargo carrying capacity the customer prefers.
One of the things truck makers are more conscious of today is making the work environment more comfortable for the drivers who may clamber in and out of delivery vehicles up to 100 times a day. That makes low cargo floors a priority. Bollinger says its delivery vans will have a cargo floor that is only 18″ higher than the roads they travel on. That means less lifting and bending for drivers.
“We took our extensive Class 3 electrification knowledge and applied it to the delivery sector,” says Robert Bollinger, CEO of Bollinger Motors. “Our DELIVER-E™ van gives commercial fleets the power to go green and save on ownership costs, while neighborhoods will benefit from a reduction in air and noise pollution.”
The Bollinger vans will be front wheel drive vehicles that come standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and electronic traction control. Charging speeds up to 100 kW will be available. They will feature independent front and rear suspensions and the least intrusion of rear wheel wells into the cargo area of any comparable van. Bollinger Motors announced recently that it is moving its headquarters to Oak Park, Michigan and doubling the size of its staff.
The electric delivery van market is expanding rapidly, with Rivian contracted to produce 100,000 vehicles for Amazon, which has just announced it will purchase 1,800 electric delivery vans from Mercedes Benz as well. The more of them there are, the better for the Earth. This seems to be one market segment Tesla has ignored, which may be why so many other companies are piling into that space.
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