Amazon.com, DHL and other fast delivery names that know they will need electric vehicles for their shipping demands in the years to come want charging speed, battery technology and ease of switching. one charger to another, they tell automakers in a new report.
And they’ll be willing to trade one manufacturer for another to get what they want, they said.
The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, affiliated with sustainable investing advocate Ceres, profiled major automakers Friday, including Volvo, General Motors GM,
with a plan to develop the electric vehicles that companies transporting their own goods and people or commuting for others plan to acquire in the United States over the next five years.
The alliance, which has grown to 29 members in two years of existence, collectively plans to purchase around 300,000 light electric vehicles over this period.
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These needs are creating a push for competition in an automotive industry that is already juggling shifting market demand and regulatory changes against the tedious act of retooling factories and resizing workforces.
“On average, the production of zero-emission vehicles is still well below the production capacity manufacturers have for the internal combustion engine, or RB00 gasoline,
vehicles, so they have to be much more careful with the types of vehicles, in what specs, they are prioritizing production right now,” said Sara Forni, director of clean vehicles at Ceres and leader of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance. .
“Some don’t have the ability, or they haven’t had it in the past, to produce every electric vehicle that every corporate fleet or commercial fleet wants. That’s why we’ve developed this survey and the resulting analysis to send this clear demand signal to automakers on what types of vehicles we want them to prioritize from the wide range of specifications,” he said. she stated.
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Survey respondents showed a preference for fully electric battery-powered vehicles over petrol/electric plug-in hybrids and newer, not yet scalable hydrogen fuel cells to power engines.
Generally, the group recommends auto and truck manufacturers to be more transparent about the timing of new model launches and to prioritize the design and production of zero-emission vehicles that meet the most efficient configurations and specifications. frequently needed for large commercial fleets. This involves producing vehicles with sufficient battery capacity to get drivers where they need to go, but without eliminating the possibility of creating vehicles unique to a company’s needs, including minimum electric range, towing and cargo space.
And it’s not all about the trucks. Fleets of electric sedans will be in demand, these companies said, with most hoping range on a single charge will extend to 250 to 300 miles. In total, building electric vehicle fleets will require sedans, SUVs, pickups and vans.
“We know we need to move to electric vehicles to help alleviate the climate and public health crisis,” Forni said. “And so manufacturers are trying to get in on the game and carve out a niche in this increasingly popular market.”
Ozone and fine particulates from vehicle emissions are causing increased death and illness from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, both in cities and in neighborhoods near highways, disproportionately affecting communities of color.
Given that the entire transport sector accounts for 21% of total emissions and road transport accounts for three quarters of transport emissions, road transport accounts for 15% of total CO2 emissions. Medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial cars and trucks have an outsized impact on US emissions per vehicle.
The alliance, which also includes Best Buy BBY,
and United Natural Foods UNFI,
on its list, collectively represents more than $1 trillion in annual revenue. Its members own, lease or operate more than 1.3 million on-road fleet vehicles in the United States alone.
The group said a Biden administration plan to convert the federal vehicle fleet to electric in the coming years will foster economies of scale that will help the private sector. Infrastructure spending in a bill passed last year also aims to expand the charging network. And the Advanced Clean Truck rule, designed to accelerate the growth of clean trucks, vans and other large utility vehicles, has been passed by six states in recent months after dozens of companies and investors voted in favor of it.
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Not all automakers participated in workshops related to this report. One, Ford Motor F,
was not identified in the findings, but worked with the alliance on commercial fleet requirements. Ford’s best-selling F-150 pickup truck has an electric vehicle model slated to hit the market this year, the Lightning.
Ford is also an investor in all-electric vehicle maker Rivian RIVN,
which caused a stir last year. AmazonAMZN,
also has a stake in Rivian.
GM garnered praise at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show after unveiling its 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup. The truck, which is expected to go on sale next year, claims a range of more than 400 miles, surpassing the 300 miles of the Ford Lightning.
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The EV alliance report also found that companies want their automakers to invest and help grow the charging network, not just the vehicles.
Open-access charging sites help ensure electric vehicles can be used on more routes. Interoperability improves fairness and reduces range anxiety, and is key to driving widespread adoption of electric vehicles, the group said. In the long term, open pricing standards allow the industry to move forward as a cohesive unit, reducing the risk of tying infrastructure to technology that could become obsolete, he argues.
In one example, GM said last year it would partner with seven charging networks ahead of its EV push.