FedEx pledges to go carbon-neutral by 2040 with EV delivery vans and more

The company responsible for moving so much around the US and the globe laid out a number of massive initiatives to reach its target.

By Sean Szymkowski

This battery-powered commercial van is sure to get couriers and delivery companies all hot and bothered.GM

FedEx said on Wednesday it will do its part to cut emissions from its global business, which is a big deal for a corporation as sprawling as FedEx. The company said it’s committed to become carbon-neutral by 2040 at the latest and laid out a number of projects and initiatives it will enact to meet its goal.

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The Futuristic Car Looks Like a Small Spaceship and Might Be Distributed by the End of the Year

The electric car features an aerodynamic design with only three wheels and two seats.

By Pitney Bowes

Do you remember the futuristic car that we could set aside with 2,000 Mexican pesos? It looks like we will soon see Aptera Motors start distributing them.

The vehicle manufacturing company has just closed a round of four billion dollars and now its plans to start its distribution at the end of this year 2021 seem more real, as we mentioned in December of last year.

“The Aptera must undergo safety testing before the company can begin distribution, which it hopes to do later this year. Even then, it is not clear that consumers want to buy something that looks like a cross between the Batmobile and a beetle,” wrote The Washington Post .

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Hyundai proposes electric vehicle battery leasing plan to lower cost of EVs

THE PROPHECY CONCEPT. SOURCE: HYUNDAI

By JOSHUA S. HILL

South Korean automotive giant Hyundai is to create an electric vehicle (EV) battery leasing business with the aim of reducing the initial cost of buying an EV as well as providing services that enable eco-friendly re-use of the batteries beyond their useful EV lifespan.

Hyundai said this week it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Korean Government, as well as LG Energy Solution and KST Mobility to demonstrate an EV battery leasing business, including for the rental of electric taxi batteries.

Under the plan KST Mobility will sell ownership of batteries in newly purchased EVs to Hyundai Glovis, the battery lessor. KST Mobility will then pay a monthly fee for battery usage, which will in turn ensure KST Mobility is able to reduce its initial investment on EV purchases.

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Planning 500,000 charging points for EVs by 2025, Shell becomes the latest company swept up in EV charging boom


By Jonathan Shieber

Shell’s plan to roll out 500,000 electric charging stations in just four years is the latest sign of an EV charging infrastructure boom that has prompted investors to pour cash into the industry and inspired a few companies to become public companies in search of the capital needed to meet demand.

Since the beginning of the year, three companies have been acquired by special purpose acquisition vehicles and are on a path to go public, while a third has raised tens of millions from some of the biggest names in private equity investing for its own path to commercial viability.

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Volta Trucks set to launch urban electric lorry

Volta Trucks aims to begin producing its electric truck this year

by Jean-Baptiste Oubrier

Anglo-Swedish startup Volta Trucks will launch its urban electric lorry this year, the group said Wednesday, tapping into keen demand for electrified transport—and increasing bans against high-polluting vehicles.

Volta Trucks has developed what it bills as the world’s first purpose-built fully-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle which is designed to criss-cross cities for short journeys.

The young firm, which was founded in Sweden in 2019, this week sealed a $20-million (16.5-million-euro) investment to help boost production of the Volta Zero which has a driving range of 150-200 kilometres (93-124 miles).

And despite humble plans so far, the truck already has an order book worth $260 million—regardless of ongoing turmoil surrounding Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are a Scandinavian company with a UK operating base and we have presence in France as well,” Volta Trucks chief executive Rob Fowler told AFP.

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EV Startups Rivian and Cruise Raise a Staggering $4.7 Billion in New Funding

The electric vehicle race is heating up. 

By MARTIN LERMA

Tesla may be king of the electric vehicle, but billions are being pumped into the category to (finally) give it some serious competition.

Earlier this week, two of the newest players in the EV race got a serious boost. Amazon- and Ford-backed Rivian revealed that it has raised $2.65 billion in new investments. Meanwhile, GM’s Cruise imprint signed a long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft, for which the tech giant helped raise $2 billion, according to a statement. This financial injection is reflective of the increasing interest from the public in the once niche segment of the automotive industry.

With its latest capital courtesy of T. Rowe Price, California-based Rivian has raised a healthy $8 billion since the start of 2019, which puts current valuation at $27.6 billion, according to Reuters.

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GM debuts all-electric van in battle to capture ‘last mile’ e-commerce deliveries

By Paul A. Eisenstein

FedEx has already placed “a large order” for the electric trucks, after a test showed they resulted in a 25 percent increase in productivity, GM said.

General Motors on Tuesday unveiled a new all-electric subsidiary, BrightDrop, that it hopes will speed up the shipping and delivery process.

General Motors wants to electrify the delivery side of e-commerce, launching a new subsidiary, BrightDrop, that will deliver “an ecosystem” of products and services to speed up the shipping and delivery process.

Set to launch later this year, BrightDrop will offer all-electric delivery vans, as well as a droid-like cargo palette capable of rolling around under its own power.

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GM’s BrightDrop is building an EV ‘ecosystem’ for delivery companies

By Nick Summers

The company is starting with an electric van and pallet.

GM wants a piece of the battery-powered logistics market. The company, which owns Chrysler and Cadillac, has announced a new business unit today called BrightDrop. It’s starting with two vehicles, the first of which is an electric van that can drive up to 250 miles on a single charge. It’s called the EV600 and has up to 600 cubic feet of space inside, or an estimated 2,200 lbs of payload capacity. The all-wheel-drive vehicle is also fitted with a security system in the cargo area, an auto-locking door and motion-activated interior lighting. On the road, drivers will benefit from automatic emergency breaking and parking assistance, among other features. 

Before the EV600 hits the road, BrightDrop will be launching a smaller vehicle called the EP1. It’s a pallet — the kind of trolley that’s often found in stores and warehouses — with an electric motor that makes it easier to move heavy objects around. The included container offers 23 cubic feet of space, or a total payload up to 200 pounds. According to GM, the doors are lockable and there’s a modular shelving system inside so that workers can easily organize goods. The hope is that delivery drivers will use them to shuffle cumbersome items between their van and customers’ front doors.

These two are the first in a BrightDrop “ecosystem” that will include both vehicles and software. The company will provide customers with a cloud-based platform, for instance, that can be used to monitor their operations and improve their fleet’s efficiency. The EP1 will also offer location tracking and battery status, remote locking and unlocking, and other features via over-the-air updates. The EV600, meanwhile, will have location tracking, remote battery and charging management, incident recording, and more. Like the EP1, it will also benefit from over-the-air updates.

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EV startup Canoo unveiled 2 futuristic electric delivery vehicles to take on vans coming from Rivian, Ford, and Mercedes

Tim Levin 

ev-startup-canoo-futuristic-electri-delivery-vehicles-1
Canoo MPDV. 
  • Electric-vehicle startup Canoo unveiled two delivery vans Thursday and announced that a third, larger version is in the works. 
  • The futuristic-looking MPDV1 and MPDV2 will offer up to 500 cubic feet of cargo room and get an EPA-estimated range of up to 230 miles. 
  • Canoo offers customizations like storage lockers and shelving, and said large customers can develop a fleet of custom vans. 
  • Limited availability starts in 2022, with full-scale production beginning the following year. 

Tesla may have a lineup of electric luxury cars and a battery-powered semi on the way, but it doesn’t offer any smaller work vehicles for last-mile deliveries and small businesses. EV startup Canoo is targeting that exact space with a new lineup of futuristic electric delivery vans it announced Thursday. 

Canoo unveiled two multi-purpose delivery vehicles — a small MPDV1 and a medium-sized MPDV2 — and announced that a third, larger MPDV3 is in the works as well. The customizable vans can be tailored for use with many different types of businesses, Canoo said. 

Legacy automakers and startups alike have announced plans for battery-powered work vans, with RivianFord, Mercedes-Benz and Bollinger all making inroads into the space in the last couple of years. 

EVs are well-suited for commercial use, because range often poses less of a problem, commercial vehicles tend to follow predictable routes, and EVs are cheaper to run and maintain than gas-powered vehicles. 

Learn more about Canoo’s delivery vehicles — which the company says will hit streets in 2022 — below.

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E-bikes and e-scooters will transform our cities in 2021

By LUCY YU

e-bikes-e-scooters-will-transform-cities

The startup world likes to celebrate exciting new technologies, such as AI and autonomous vehicles. But these are newcomers to the party compared to the electric motor, whose precursor technology celebrates its 200th birthday in 2021. Yet today, mobility overwhelmingly runs on fossil fuels. Electric-powered vehicles have been confined to the wealthy, the geeky and the green – not sufficiently affordable, accessible or practical for everyone else. In 2021, startups and industry disruptors will proliferate, heralding a new era of e-mobility for all of us. 

The driver for this is, of course, climate change. Over 77 countries and more than 100 of the world’s biggest cities have committed to achieving net-zero emissions. Globally, transport is one of the largest sources of CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions. Governments have imposed future bans on the sale of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, incentivising more electric-vehicle purchases and taxing the most polluting vehicles, but investors are also keen to accelerate the global shift from pump to plug.

In January 2020, London-based startup Arrival became an electric-first unicorn, attracting sizeable funding from established automakers. Its light commercial vehicles, including buses, vans and delivery robots, will be assembled by a planned network of 1,000 global “microfactories”. In July, Tesla overtook Toyota to become the world’s most valuable carmaker, and Chinese electric-vehicle startup Li Auto raised over $1bn from its IPO.

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World’s First Never Charge Solar Electric Vehicle Aptera Goes Live – Again


By Elena Gorgan

Aptera Motors is making a massive comeback after more than one decade of struggling as a startup, following up on the promise made one year ago. The first pre-orders for the Aptera sEV (solar electric vehicle), the world’s first never charge three-wheeler with record-breaking range, are now live.

Aptera Motors has been around since 2008 and has started on this comeback journeyexactly one year ago, with new plans for the reborn solar-powered vehicle. Aptera is not a car, but a three-wheeler, which could be classified as a motorcycle or an autocycle). It features solar panels on the roof and a battery pack as a backup, for those who plan on using it for more than just the daily commute. 

It has a futuristic design, it’s nimble and comparatively small, but the makers promise it’s spacious enough for two adults and a trunk-load of cargo, reliable and safe in case of an impact, and also very fast. It sounds like your dream vehicle (albeit a three-wheeler) has arrived – and it’s open for pre-orders. 

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China built the first electric car designed exclusively for ride-hailing

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The D1 is a partnership between Didi Chuxing and BYD

Two of China’s top companies have joined forces to design, develop, and build an electric car for the express purpose of ride-hailing.

The vehicle is an adorable green hatchback called the D1, and it was developed by Didi Chuxing, the top ride-hailing company in China that notoriously defeated Uber in 2016, and BYD, one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers. The D1 will have a range of 418 km (260 miles) as judged by NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). They also explained some of the more interesting design touches that make this vehicle particularly well-suited for app-based ride-hailing.

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