While the focus on the electric vehicles have been on the ultra plush and quick models from the likes of Tesla, Audi, and Jaguar, there is a lot of work being done for electric delivery vans. The combination of reduced maintenance, low fuel costs, and an abundance of torque to deal with heavy loads make them a perfect to do deliveries in urban areas. Rivian is the most-well known player here with plans to build out a fleet of electric vans for Amazon. Another player is ready to join the fight.
Reuters reported yesterday that General Motors is working on a electric van for the commercial market. Five sources reveal that the van - codenamed BV1 - is expected to go into production late next year. It is expected to use Ultium battery technology that GM first talked about back in March. Utilizing this could solve one of the big issues with EVs, price. By switching Cobalt (expensive) for Aluminum (less expensive), GM says it will drop the cost of a battery to $100 per kilowatt-hour - making it around the same cost as regular gas powered van. Analysis done last year put the kilowatt-hour cost of a battery at $159.
One item still being debated internally is whether the van will be sold as Chevrolet, GMC, or a new brand.
When asked by Reuters, GM said it is “committed to an all-electric future and is implementing a multi-segment, scalable EV strategy to get there. At this time, we do not have any announcements to make regarding electric commercial vehicles.”
GM isn't the only company getting on the electric van train. Ford has announced plans for an electric version of the Transit to launch in 2022, and British startup Arrival which has the backing of Hyundai, currently has an order of 10,000 vans from UPS.