Kinda like this, but bigger and more… useful.
While electric vehicles seem to take up a big chunk of the automotive news cycle on any given day, they still make up just a small percentage of overall vehicle sales, particularly to retail customers.
That’s likely down to the fact that most EVs are still pretty expensive when compared to the cheaper internal combustion vehicles on sale, and the tech still has a long way to go before it reaches parity in terms of convenience.
That said, while regular people might be slow to adopt, commercial customers are always looking for an edge, and electric delivery vans are becoming increasingly attractive to companies with large fleets thanks to their reduced maintenance and fueling costs. Still, we’ve yet to see a purpose-built electric van that has caused companies to switch en masse.
GM thinks it might have a solution to that, according to a report published Thursday by Reuters. Several sources close to the company told the publication that the General is indeed working on an electric van that would — in theory — shut the door on Tesla, which has so far ignored the segment.
The vehicle is rumored to be called the BV1 internally and would be produced alongside planned electric trucks at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant starting sometime in 2021. What is less clear at this stage is whether GM would sell this van under one of its existing truck or van brands — Chevrolet, GM, Hummer — or whether it’d dredge up another name from the pile that’s likely collecting dust in a disused office closet at the RenCen.
GM didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
OK, so GM is working on this thing. What is the competition up to? We know that newcomer Rivian is hard at work on an electric van with its partner Amazon. We also know that Ford has committed to electrifying the Transit van with plans to put it on the market in 2022. Also of note is UPS’ order of 10,000 electric delivery vans from a company called Arrival that happens to be backed by Hyundai and Kia.
What we’re saying is that right now, the electric commercial van market is looking like the Wild West, and it’s still wide open for whichever company can get its act together and put out a viable product.
Go behind the scenes of the Rivian-built Amazon electric delivery van
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GMC Hummer EV: I’ve got an opinion