Trucking News

Is The Last Mile Going To Be Electric?

TNI || New Delhi || 4th Sept 2021

In one of the panel discussions at the advanced clean energy exposition, experts are of an opinion that the last mile delivery fleets will be, in all likelihood, early adopters of electric vehicle technology.

Paul Rosa, SVP, procurement, and fleets for Penske Truck Leasing, who also led the panel discussion, is of an opinion that e-commerce generated a staggering $4 trillion in revenue in 2020, and the demand for a faster and efficient fleet is increasing every year.

The need for smarter, greener last mile solutions has gone on to make General Motors create BrightDrop, which is a tech startup to develop an electric delivery van for last mile applications and also an autonomous freight pellet that can move an estimated 200 pounds of cargo at short distances.

Jonathon Katz, president, and CEO of BrightDrop, says that despite their GM background, they are working on a lot more than new vehicles. From first to the last mile they are creating a new generation of electric vans, software, and pallets that help fleets move the freight.

He added that software is at the heart of everything their organization does and that the IoT devices will give the fleet unprecedented visibility in real-time.

Cathy Zoi, who is the president and CEO of EVgo, an electric charging stations supplier, said that fleets need highly flexible and reliable power grid networks that could accommodate a host of different charging requirements.

In the panel discussion she said that while fleets have an option to charge solutions at the base station or hub stations away from the base, there is still a dearth of widespread public charging networks. According to her, the battery costs are coming down and electric wins the total cost of ownership numbers as of now.

She also cautioned that each fleet that goes electric will require a different mix of charging solutions for support.