|Gatik, ChargePoint pair up to face challenges of electric delivery trucks|
Can soaring demand for e-commerce hasten a switch to electric delivery vehicles?
In some segments, that shift is already underway, with the likes of General Motors' BrightDrop commercial EV business targeting first- and last-mile delivery customers and Amazon compiling a fleet of 100,000 delivery vans as it aims to be carbon neutral by 2040.
In other segments, the case for electric delivery vehicles is less clear-cut, with heavy batteries and their associated charging times that are perhaps less than optimal for high-utilization vehicles.
Self-driving truck startup Gatik and ChargePoint, a national EV charging network, are looking to solve those challenges. The two companies said this week they've established a strategic partnership designed to address those problems and maximize operational efficiency.
Gatik's autonomous-driving system can be paired with Class 3 to Class 6 commercial trucks, and the company has pioneered development of "middle-mile" logistics routes that connect distribution centers and retail outlets. The company works with retailers such as Walmart and Canadian grocery chain Loblaw.
Those customers and others can use ChargePoint in designing sites to charge trucks and defray investment costs. Gatik can further access ChargePoint's nationwide charging network and fleet-specific software tailored for each customer's operations.
Battery-electric vehicles can be stalwarts of a light-duty delivery fleet. Exactly how they can be utilized in medium-duty operations is a grayer area. Gatik and ChargePoint's new partnership will help fill in those details.
— Pete Bigelow