July 31st, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
Along with the news of 4 new electric vans in the UK and Europe, we’ve collected 4 other electric van stories in the past week that didn’t get their own articles but seemed worth highlighting.
Workhorse Sells Some Trucks/Vans …
To New Company Aiming To Sell Electric Trucks/Vans
Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) has been slowly getting off the ground for a few years. As it describes itself, it’s “an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective drone-integrated electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector.” Its vehicle include big electric trucks/vans like those pictured above and below. Apparently, a new trucking out of Cincinnati, “eTrucks,” has just ordered 20 of them.
However, eTrucks is not planning to use these trucks. Rather, it basically wants to become a dealer in this sector. “eTrucks plans to function as a vehicle buyer and reseller and will be offering fleet funding programs and services tailored for different business needs. The company also aims to provide flexible financing options for its customers, including owned or leased programs. Its primary target market will be the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) fleet operators in the Ohio area with plans for regional and even national expansion in the near future.”
Workhorse Eligible For Subsidies In California
Workhorse scored another win over in California, where it became eligible for subsidies. Well, more accurately, buyers of its C-Series 100% electric delivery trucks/vans can now get from subsidies through the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (“HVIP”) program.
“Workhorse’s 2020 model year C-1000 Standard Range (4-pack), C-650 Extended Range (4-pack) and C-650 Standard Range (2-pack) battery electric step vans are eligible for monetary vouchers of up to $50,000 per vehicle. While the HVIP program is currently withholding additional voucher requests until the fall of 2020, Workhorse will remain on the eligible vehicle list until additional funding has been designated for the program.”
The company also received a Certificate of Conformity (“CoC”) from the EPA and a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”) Certification earlier this year. Thus, “Workhorse is the first medium duty BEV OEM to be certified by both the EPA and CARB,” the company proudly boasts.
Southampton City Council Buys 24 Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 Panel Vans
Despite other rather horrible news for Renault this week (Renault lost €7.4 billion/$8.5 billion in the first half of 2020), it is on a roll when it comes to electric vans. Included in that roll is that it sold 24 all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 panel vans to the city of Southampton.
Counting the Plug-in Van Grant but not VAT, the cost of these electric vans starts at £19,380 each. The have a range of 143 miles on a full charge, according to the WLTP testing system. “Vans will be used for a variety of roles, including Neighbourhood Wardens and Waste Operations teams,” a press release announced. The vans are replacing diesel vans. Here are a few notes on specs:
- 4.6 cubic meters of cargo space
- 44 kW motors, 225 Nm of torque
BlackBerry Will Power Canoo’s Autonomous Driving System
Seriously. BlackBerry (NYSE:BB, TSX:BB) is still alive, and it’s in the autonomous driving business — or, at least, the advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) business. The news is that it has been tapped to power the ADAS systems in hot new startup Canoo’s electric vehicles.
I recommend scrolling through our Canoo archives, but a few highlights are that this is a subscription-based automotive startup that has created a joint venture with Hyundai, is creating a purpose-built vehicle with Hyundai, is into gamification, recently impressed Jay Leno. Apparently, though, it needed help on the ADAS/autonomy side of things.
Canoo’s “membership-based semi-autonomous EVs will be powered by the BlackBerry QNX operating system (OS), including radar sensors, parking sensors and cameras.”
Before you get too excited, though, there’s a reason this story is on the bottom of this list. The BlackBerry QNX system is just up to the level 2 (or level 2+) autonomous driving system, and the Canoo vehicles using BlackBerry QNX tech won’t hit the market until late 2021 at the earliest.
“Canoo is pushing the boundaries of AV development, challenging the traditional way of building, offering and using vehicles and we look forward to working with them to achieve their vision of a world in which transportation is affordable, electric, shared and autonomous,” John Wall, SVP and Co-Head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions, said.
I’m not sure if level 2, or 2+, is pushing the boundaries. But it’s something.
Note that we have been covering BlackBerry occasionally for years. Here’s a January 2018 story: “Baidu Utilizing BlackBerry Software In Self-Driving Car Platform.” And here’s a November 2016 article if you want to go back even further: “BlackBerry & Ford Partnering On Next-Gen Connected Cars.”
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