Let’s agree that commercial vans are not at the sexy end of the automotive spectrum. And yet they are absolutely essential tools for delivery companies (and for those who order goods they want delivered to their home or office. Now, they may start grabbing more of the headlines as electrification makes it way into the sector.
If long-term savings possible with an EV are of great interest to individual motorists, imagine the potential for savings for a company with a fleet of dozens of vehicles. Switching to electrified models could mean the difference between profitability and being in the red.
One of the new models available to businesses is about to make its debut. General Motors’ Zevo 600 (formerly called the EV600) van is produced under the banner of a new division created within the American giant, BrightDrop. A Zevo 600 van has just set a Guinness World Record for distance traveled on a single charge for a commercial van. The vehicle covered nearly 420 km in traveling between the cities of New York and Washington.
The model, operated by delivery giant FedEx, was tasked with delivering a load of cleaning products. Unfortunately, the quantity of items and the weight of the cargo were not disclosed, a shame because that could have a direct impact on the vehicle's energy efficiency, and thus range.
That said, the distance covered corresponds to the advertised range of the Zevo 600 model within a few kilometers.
The van used for this delivery is one of several that have already been built and delivered to FedEx fleets. The delivery specialist has ordered a total of 2,500 GM vans. GM says it has 25,000 Zevo 600 reservations from various companies.
Electric models capable of transporting goods will become much more commonplace over the next few years. For companies, the potential savings are too significant not to make the shift to electrification. And it’ no surprise then to see that GM is not the only player in the game - the electric Ram ProMaster is expected to make its debut next year, and Ford is in the mix with an electric Transit (E-Transit).