Electric Last Mile Solutions (ELMS) is an electric vehicle startup entering the commercial fleet space as a new manufacturer of EV urban delivery vans with a focus on creating products aimed at the booming e-commerce industry as well as growing corporate sustainability initiatives.
The company is designing EV delivery vans targeted for final-mile fleets operating in urban environments and expects its first product launch in Q3 2021, ELMS said.
With the launch the company is also ensuring that it is developing a product aimed at giving fleets a low total cost of ownership (TCO), an essential component to what every fleet manager looks for in vehicles it acquires.
More specifically, ELMS is producing the new urban EV delivery van to tap into an underserved market of the fleet space, according to the company, with a particular focus on the Class 1 Commercial vehicle segment.
“The demand for cost effective solutions to support the e-commerce ecosystem is overwhelming. This industry promises rewards to first movers who can deliver value-driven solutions,” said James Taylor, CEO of ELMS. “ELMS is solely focused on the commercial vehicle market. Our products are designed to provide the most cost-effective, reliable and customized solutions for the last-mile delivery of goods and services.”
Fleets with shorter-distance delivery routes are a key area of focus for ELMS. This is important, as the company is focusing on a product that doesn’t demand the same level of power found in EV segments higher than Class 1, meaning the batteries of the vehicles that are being produced don’t need to be as expensive, equating to a more cost-effective end product.
“One of the reasons that electric vehicles are such a premium is because of the size of the battery,” said Taylor. “In these urban deliveries, the last-mile short distance vehicles are not going very far. So they don’t need bigger, more expensive batteries. It doesn’t take a very big battery to give fleets more than an adequate range that satisfies the duty cycles these vehicles are typically in.”
The delivery vehicle will feature a range of 150 miles, with the capability of being fully charged in as little as two hours, according to the company.
It will also feature a cargo capacity of 170 cu.-ft.
The plant in Mishawaka, Indiana will have the capacity to produce 100,000 commercial vehicles per year, the company said.
ELMS had a soft launch in August 2020, and currently has over 30,000 pre-orders from customers including leading brands and some of the largest fleet managers and dealers in the country.
Low Total Cost of Ownership
The company’s electric delivery vans will have pricing equivalent to Class 1 commercial ICE vehicles, but the additional fuel savings and lower maintenance costs — due to fewer moving parts to damage, fewer fluids to service, less wear per mile on the brakes by way of regenerative braking — help achieve the vehicle’s lower TCO.
“That sets up the beginning of the total cost of ownership equation, where you’re not trying to save your way out of the deficit; you start equal from the beginning and then the savings the electric vehicle creates is net savings right from the first day,” said Taylor.
Other EV pricing pain points will be further alleviated by the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles, Taylor added.
ELMS is also tapping in the space to fulfill the needs of corporate sustainability goals.
“The corporations that we’ve approached have the possibility of converting some of their fleet to EVs, and that’s really welcomed with open arms because of the ability for them to reach toward their carbon neutral footprints of whatever their goal is 2025 or 2030, depending on how aggressive they are,” Taylor said.
ELMS vehicles will also feature advanced onboard and over-the-air data and telematics that allow fleet managers to engage in business planning and fleet tracking for optimal efficiency, the company said.
The connectivity technology built into the EV delivery van will also help provide technology-based service updates for its vehicles via over-the-air capabilities.
“From a maintenance and service standpoint, we’ll be able to send upgrades and repairs back to the vehicle. And therefore, fleets won’t need to take them off the road and do those software enhancements at a garage or dealership, creating downtime,” Taylor said.
ELMS is also collaborating with Geotab as part of its product rollout, and its line of products will be available on Geotab’s Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) tool.
This EVSA solution is designed to help enable fleets to go electric by analyzing a fleet’s existing telematics data and creating an electrification recommendation based on each vehicle’s distinctive driving patterns.