The maker of a Class 1 electric delivery van ready to roll out this fall plans to unveil its next, larger electric vehicle designed to compete in the Class 2 and 3 vehicle categories.
Electric Last Mile Solutions will reveal a new truck and begin customer testing this summer. It plans mass production and deliveries during the second half of 2022.
The small truck is designed and engineered to compete with cargo vans such as the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, and the Canoo MPDV as well as cab-forward trucks from Isuzu and Chevrolet.
ELMS says the truck already has drawn strong interest from leading fleet operators and fleet management companies. It will be produced at the former Hummer plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, which has been converted to build the ELMS Urban Delivery Class 1 van starting in the third quarter.
The truck will have a Class 3 cab chassis with at least a 14-foot cargo box on the back, and potentially a 16-foot box, said Erik Grossman, director of communications and investor relations for ELMS. Its range will be at least 150 miles, just like the Urban Delivery van. Grossman said the payload capacity will be competitive with those of longer wheelbase Sprinter and Transit vans.
The ELMS electric truck will straddle the Class 2 and 3 niches, just like the Urban Delivery is Class 1 but competes in the Class 1 and 2 categories, Grossman said.
“The demand has been extremely strong from large fleet operators for the Class 3,” Grossman said. “With the Class 3, we are opening customer access for those who don’t have Class 1 in their portfolio with their use cases.”
The truck can accommodate a wide range of client uses, such as delivery services, moving truck rentals, and parcel deliveries. “It will have a bigger footprint in last-mile delivery,” Grossman said. Other customers could include utilities, municipalities, retail outlets such as flower shops, and food deliverers.
The ELMS truck will have the potential for upfitting equipment and tools, such as temporary cold storage solutions, wire harnesses, shelving, and ladder racking.
So far, ELMS has only suggested a design with a silhouetted image it posted on social media, with actual photos and images of the truck still to come.
ELMS Urban Delivery Van Scheduled for Fall 2021
Since the ELMS Urban Delivery Van prototype was released late last fall, the van model has gained 45,000 non-binding preorders, Grossman said. ELMS has not announced the size of its first production order yet. The manufacturing plant has the capacity to build 100,000 vehicles per year.
Randy Marion Automotive Group’s commercial division is ELMS’ first distributor to help launch the Urban Delivery van. Marion Group will be scheduled to receive 6,000 of the vans once the parties finalize the deal.
“We’re not selling one at a time; these all have to go through a dealer,” Grossman said. The first customers will be fleets, not one-off buyers.
ELMS so far has not identified any near-term competitors to its Class 1 van in the EV space and believes it has an advantage among customers interested in an affordable Class 1 electric van.
ELMS will import the van bodies and chassis from China, which have already been used for vans running there and can provide millions of miles of data on usage and performance, Grossman said.
“We don’t have the expensive tooling, re-tooling, or engineering of a platform from the ground up,” he said. “This is a fast way to get to market in a way that’s proven and reliable.” Such a production set up can lead to a lower total cost of ownership for customers, he added.
Colliers Securities recently hosted a plant tour/test drive of the Urban Delivery vehicle, noting “the vehicle is real” and the factory is “ready to go,” according to ELMS.