Electric van startups compete for “golden ticket” orders

London — The future of a swarm of commercial electric van startups seeking investor capital through a blank check IPO is in the hands of a small group of large companies, especially UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon.

As each carrier owns tens of thousands of vehicles worldwide, orders from major package delivery companies can be used to launch startups aiming for manufacturing scale and profitability to win orders from other large customers. Can act as a marketing tool for.

“Everyone is looking for their money voucher,” said Steven Merkt, president of Transport Solutions at TE Connectivity Ltd, a manufacturer of sensors, connectors and electronic components. “Without scale, it’s quickly crushed.”

Desperate to find the next Tesla Inc, investors are investing billions of dollars Electric car Startups, results vary.

But unlike Tesla, which has made a few years of lucrative start over traditional automakers, commercial electric vehicle start-ups are struggling with time as major manufacturers: Ford Motor Co., Ltd. Competition to bring products to market, etc. Volkswagen AG strengthens electrical products.

Some startups already have golden tickets. Listed in a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Arrival has ordered up to 10,000 vans from UPS. Chanje has received an order for 1,000 vans from FedEx, California, while Rivian has received an order to manufacture 100,000 vans for Amazon.

Others like Xos are close. Published in a merger with the blank check company NextGen Acquisition Corp, Xos is testing electricity. Delivery truck On both UPS and Amazon.

Some companies, like Canoo Inc, have experienced confusion as they tweak their strategies.

Thore Meurer, Senior European Fleet Director, Deutsche Post AG Unit DHL Express“The window of opportunity is closed,” he said.

He said DHL has been talking to the UK for years and will try some of its test models. In the US market, DHL has announced that it will purchase 89 electric vans from Lighting eMotors, which was unveiled through the merger of SPACs.

According to Meurer, DHL Express is also talking to two Asian startups about electric vans for Europe. However, the company hopes to introduce 14,000 electric vans to the European fleet by 2030 and is anxious to do so. In April, DHL ordered 100 E-Ducato electric vans from well-established manufacturer Stellantis to deliver packages in Europe.

“If another startup enters the market with Van two years later, they have no chance left,” Maurer said. “By then, all the big players will bring electric vans to market.”

“Trust gap”

The arrival electric test van, adorned with UPS’s distinctive brown coloring, is popular with drivers at the facilities of major US courier companies. London Kentish Town district. During a van demonstration by Luke Wake, Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering for UPS, several drivers asked, “When can I drive?”

Arrival vans are the culmination of many years of effort by UPS to incorporate electric vehicles into fleets. Old buildings still remain in the Kentish Town depot. diesel A truck converted by UPS into an electric vehicle.

“We converted hundreds of existing vehicles into electric vehicles to see how they fit and stimulated markets that didn’t exist yet,” says Wake.

Working with start-ups like Arrival has opened up many possibilities for UPS. Among them is the automatic operation of vans, which can reduce expensive accidents in the warehouse.

With the van’s battery pack, the UPS adds automatic doors for the driver and LED lights at the rear to help the driver find their luggage more quickly. These features can save seconds per delivery. This will be added when the UPS delivers. 2 1 billion packages annually.

The UPS order drew attention to Arrival, and startups highlighted the relationship in an announcement last month. Electric car for Uber..

Carl-Magnus Norden, founder of Stockholm-based Volta Trucks, said, “We are developing electric trucks for city center delivery to businesses and have ordered 1,000 trucks from a French refrigerated truck company. “. Petit Forestier. “That’s why people like Petit Forestier are important to us.”

Most start-ups want golden ticket orders, but Electric Last Mile Inc (ELMS), which will be listed in a merger with SPAC Forum Merger III Corp, has moved to the United States. dealer We are building a network as a means of building scale and pre-ordering 45,000 small electric vans to be launched this year.

James Taylor, CEO, said speed is paramount, as the giants like. Ford Focus on electricity Commercial vehicleFord sells the largest number of commercial vehicles in the US and European markets and plans to launch an electric vehicle transit van in 2023.

ELMS is betting on success as there are currently no plans to produce such a small van in the United States.

“There is at least one short runway with no competitors,” Taylor said.

Electric van startups compete for “golden ticket” orders

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