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Disruptive Trend in the Commercial Market

Electrifying commercial delivery vehicles disrupt the commercial market similar to how the consumer market was disrupted by Tesla [1,2,3].

Rising in demand for e-commerce as well as increasing legislation regarding emissions have highlighted the role of electric delivery vans in urban goods delivery. Predictable routes that normally stay within a specific geographic area make delivery vans well-fitted within EV charging infrastructures [1].  Reliability, reduced maintenance, and reduced fuel consumption are the main characteristics that make electric vans attractive to business customers [3]. 

Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, Michigan-based startup invested by Ford [1,2,3].  Amazon’s rival, UPS, has also ordered 10,000 electric delivery vans from Arrival, British startup backed by Hyundai and Kia [3]. More players in the segments are expected to follow the trend.

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In Europe, emission regulations are getting stricter and stricter. By 2025, CO2 emissions from new vans segment must decrease by 15 percent. [4] Facing these regulations, automakers have no choice but to offer electric vans into their range of vehicles. The high price of electric vans is an issue, especially for smaller businesses. The challenge is that payload capacity and battery size are adversaries to each other, and greater battery capacity increases the cost.  One way to reduce price and weight would be to develop a brand-new design for electric vans instead of using conventional vans as the basis.  

Written by Shiva Habibi, RISE. 



1. There’s one segment of electric vehicles even Tesla is late to – everyone from Amazon to automakers is racing to build the perfect electric delivery van (AMZN, TSLA, GM)

2. The electric delivery van is America’s next leading car model

3. Exclusive: GM plans electric van for business users in bid to pre-empt Tesla

4. Why electrified vans are poised to 'take off' despite recent setbacks