Relationships with CARB & CEC and Air Districts Are Cited,
As Well as EVI’s Ties to Large, Well Known Commercial Fleets
Electric Vehicles International wants to capitalize on its ties to California government agencies and its relationships with fleets like UPS, Frito-Lay and Pacific Gas & Electric – and place 500 return-to-base battery electric delivery trucks in service within two years.
The EVI drive is boosted by an executive order from California Governor Jerry Brown setting broad ambitious targets for EVs in the state with requirements that increasing proportions of the state’s new vehicle purchases be EVs.
Faster ROI Is Key
EVI’s broad ambitious target is to lower return-on-investment time for private operators.
Without incentives, that time is still about ten years, as battery trucks now cost more than twice as much as conventional ones, says sales VP Frank Jenkins – as much as $180,000 for a battery medium duty delivery truck whereas a new diesel vehicle is about $80,000.
To achieve enough sales to help lower battery costs, “We have to come up with a two- to three-year return-on-investment, and the bottom line is that is going to take incentives,” he says.
With incentives boosting sales volumes, unit prices will drop. “If we can come up with the right price point,” Jenkins told F&F, “it makes a lot of business sense” to go electric.
Stockton-based EVI expects to begin delivering 100 walk–in vans to UPS late this spring, and more recently reported a contract for five additional medium duty battery trucks for Frito-Lay (F&F, March 26).
EVI also has a contract with the California Energy Commission in support of a $5.4 million project (with some $2.6 million from the agency) to develop and deliver ten plug-in hybrid electric aerial trucks to PG&E.
EVI quoted several top clean transportation leaders in California in its 500-truck announcement.
‘Everyday Use in Our Communities’
CEC chair Robert Weisenmiller praised the initiative. “This is the type of bold action needed to strengthen our state’s economy,” he said in the EVI release.
“EVI’s endeavor is especially critical given the need to improve the air quality in the San Joaquin Valley and support Stockton’s job market.
“Additionally, Governor Brown’s recent announcement will help provide enhanced access to EV charging stations, cut California’s dependence on fossil fuels, and improve our air quality,” Weisenmiller said.
“We are thrilled that national fleet operators are choosing California to lead large-scale deployments of commercial electric vehicles,” said California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols. “UPS’ deployment of 100 EVI zero emission vehicles this year and EVI’s 500-vehicle initiative over the next two years will greatly help improve public health in California by reducing air pollution.
“This proves that ultra-clean delivery vehicles are ready now for everyday use in our communities.”
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