Speaker 1: You may have heard about the recent chapter seven failure of a company making electric last mile delivery vans. You know, the ones that bring things to your house, is that an indictment of the idea or just the end of a company? I say it's just the end of a company. And I'm more excited about electric delivery vans than I am about our electric personal cars. Here's why
Speaker 1: That company that got headlines for failing was called Elms [00:00:30] electric. Last mile solutions. They were known for a couple of vehicles, a class, one kind of an compact urban van with 110 miles of range cost about 28,000 to start. And the other vehicle was a, uh, class three chassis meant to put a box on the back by an upfitter, creating an electric box van, little heavier vehicle and 125 miles range. Now the first thing to notice are those range numbers. And that's one of the key reasons why I'm more excited about electric delivery vans than I am about our own personal [00:01:00] electric cars, because they don't need the kind of killer range that is holding back so many EV buyers. And here's a slew of other reasons that trickle down from there
Speaker 1: Instead of huge range, electric delivery vans, reward, grunt torque, the ability to haul big loads around us. That's what they do for a living. Now you'll find that torque is often loved in electric passenger cars. You can go zero to 60 in two seconds, who cares with an electric delivery van? The torque is all about [00:01:30] getting a large load around efficiently, and we all care about that. Electric does torque from RPM. Number one, as opposed to gas and diesel engines that have to be coaxed up to a thousand, 2,003,000 RPM to get their peak torque with electric motors. Torque is the name of the game. It's what they do by nature. Delivery advance should have always been electric. Next up delivery vans go slow. This is [00:02:00] really important because combustion engines hate that a combustion engine does its best when it's up in the sweet spot of several thousand RPM, moving along at kind of a steady state, think about freeway or highway driving, but not too fast. Well, that's not what last mile delivery vans do. So they need a different power train that doesn't mind being driven slowly, stop and go and being turned on and off all the time.
Speaker 1: Delivery vans, travel set routes. This is part and parcel of being [00:02:30] in the delivery business. These companies know exactly how many stops distance between them, how many corners, how to make it all right. Turns. What's the terrain. What's the traffic, what's the load in the vehicle. They analyze the hell out of their runs. You and I don't do that. We get in our car and go drive around. There's no plan whatsoever. So an electric vehicle can be matched it's battery capacity for the work it has to do over the range it has to do so. Therefore range anxiety kind of goes away. It's unknowable. [00:03:00] Whereas our personal driving tends to be an unknowable. And that's why we get nervous about if we're gonna have enough charge for a given day that we can't really predict. That's why so many folks are put off from buying an EV cuz they have this question. Well, what if I need to travel a really long distance? You seldom do. But the possibility of it is so unknowable. You end up not buying an electric car,
Speaker 1: Local delivery vans work a lot. This is really [00:03:30] key. Also electric power, trains and autonomy, by the way, are expensive new technologies that are gonna require the expense of the tech itself. And you're asking a lot of folks who have a non-electric car to basically turn it over and go buy a new electric vehicle, whether it's for a fleet or for your personal driveway. Those are two big forms of expense because electric trucks work so hard. They earn back that expense far more quickly. They're out there working 8, 10, 12 hours a day. Compare that to your [00:04:00] personal car that is parked virtually its entire life 95 or 96% of the time. It has a very hard time reaching an ROI on the expense of buying it at its MSRP and having turned in a gas engine car that you could have kept driving trucks. They get to break even, and then profit real quick
Speaker 1: And electric delivery vans love low flat floors. Guess what? Electric vehicles have [00:04:30] low flat floors. It's part of how they're designed. They have these big flat beds of batteries tucked down low under the belly. What this does is lead to more cargo capacity. It leads to a far easier load in and load out. And it even means the driver has maybe one less step to jump in and out of all the time as they get up in the cab, all these things lead to work efficiency for the fleet owners. It's not trivial stuff. Also a low flat heavy battery gives a delivery vehicle, a nice low planted center of gravity. [00:05:00] This is important in what's normally a tall vehicle that can be loaded up to the very top and that can create a vehicle that's a little less stable. You've been backed up in traffic when one of these things flops over, right? But when you've got a nice low anchor down in the build, that's a good thing.
Speaker 1: Now of course, none of what I'm telling you is new to the big four transportation and logistics companies, Amazon ups, FedEx, D DHL. They prowl American streets in huge numbers every [00:05:30] day, bringing us our increasing number of packages to our doorsteps. Take a look at Amazon. They signed the deal a couple years ago to say, we're gonna buy 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Rivian. It was the biggest single order for electric vehicles in history. Now, since then, we've realized they're not locked to that deal. They're also gonna source some from at least one other auto maker from Ram, but the point is Amazon's all in and they deliver 50% of their own packages right now via their own trucks. FedEx has said it will only buy [00:06:00] new electric delivery vehicles by 2030 ups has placed an order for 10,000 electric delivery vans with a very different look than the brown truck we're used to and an option for 10,000 more.
Speaker 1: And these will show up in the UK Europe, north America through 2024. And you might not even know that about a fifth of DHL's yellow vans have already been converted to electric that's because they look very familiar. It's just a Ford transit van, but a large number of them have been retrofitted to electric by a partner company. [00:06:30] Then you wouldn't even notice driving all. This is a realization that was published recently by the north American council on freight efficiency. Nope, I hadn't heard of them before either, but they said that an electric delivery van last mile vehicle will use maybe $2,000 worth of electricity in a year compared to about $10,000 of gasoline for the old style van. And by the way, that huge disparity in favor of electric was done. When gas was averaging 2 98, a gallon ha [00:07:00] bottom line is we're at the threshold of a future where it's gonna be even harder to know when your Amazon box has been delivered because the truck that did so may not even make a sound.