Commercial EV startups show vehicles at CES

Las Vegas — CES is not an official auto show.

Still, the annual technology showcase “has become such an important show for the auto industry” that it makes sense for startups such as electric truck maker Rosetown Motors to pitch their products here. said Edward Hightower, CEO of the company.

Lordstown brought its debut truck, the Endurance pickup for the fleet, to CES this week.

Harbinger Motors, Another Commercial Electric Vehicle Startup, Attends CES A vehicle prototype based on an electric chassis that supports medium-sized vehicles such as delivery vans and RVs.

Commercial fleet vehicles spend more time on the road than passenger cars, so they offer a great opportunity to convert internal combustion engine miles to electric miles, Hightower said.
Commercial vehicles typically travel repeatable routes that can be adjusted to the range of electric vehicles, often returning to central depots where they can be easily recharged.
“This is an important demonstration of our mission – our commitment to electrification,” said Hightower.

Lordstown recently started delivering the Endurance and was named a finalist in the truck category for the 2023 North American Auto, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards. The company says the first production batch will include 500 trucks, but did not disclose the number of initial deliveries or the names of its first customers.

Electrification was a big theme at CES this week. A joint venture between Sony and Honda has unveiled the Afeela EV prototype. Ram presents its first electric pickup. Elsewhere, companies are showcasing new EV charging technologies.

Lordstown and Harbinger are “two disruptors and the commercial electric sector is now maturing in disruptors, but their approach is a bit different than others, especially Lordstown,” said S&P Global Mobility’s said James Martin, Associate Director of Consulting Services. .

Martin says Lordstown’s strategy of offering only commercial pickups is a “completely different approach.” Competitors target both the consumer and commercial markets.
“They have vehicles on the road, so I have to say they could be successful there,” he said. am.”

Martin said it would be interesting to see what the electric commercial vehicle segment will look like It will evolve over the next 3-4 years.

Harbinger Motors CEO John Harris said CES is an opportunity to connect with customers and suppliers and let them drive their vehicles. According to Harris, this will be Harbinger’s first ever driving event.

“Getting that stuff in a place that’s convenient for a lot of people is why CES is important to us,” he said.

Harbinger initially focused on a stripped-down chassis that could go into production in 2024. According to Harris, he will likely follow his cab chassis in late 2025. The company will focus on the electric chassis platform while expert upfitters build the bodywork.

Harris said Harbinger has “dozens” of commercial customers, including upfitters, fleets and distributors. The company counts customers as those who have paid a non-refundable deposit.

Harbinger has focused on high-mileage midsize vehicles, a segment that has been slow to transition to EVs, Harris said.

“These vehicles are just dying at constant usage, so it’s really the worst segment left out for electrification,” he said.

Laura Harris contributed to this report.

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