TEL AVIV, Israel — Ree Automotive, an Israeli startup with an innovative design grabbing the attention of U.S. truck dealers, sees federal and state incentives as the pathway to grab a foothold in the increasingly competitive market for electric vehicles.
The company based near Tel Aviv, in Herzliya, Israel, is avoiding the consumer arena, instead attacking the fertile medium-duty commercial vehicle sector. Truck incentives don't have the same U.S. origin of content restrictions as consumer autos and can cover most of a zero-emission vehicle's cost.
A $40,000 federal credit is available for the type of truck Ree plans to produce. California's incentive starts at $60,000 and rises depending on the size and demographics of the business. Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey also have large ZEV purchase incentives.
Midsize commercial vehicles are a prime area for electrification, according to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. Medium-duty trucks are typically used for delivering food and consumer goods and travel predictable, short routes, returning to their depots at night, where they can be recharged, according to the council.
The council estimates sales of Class 3 to Class 5, or midsize, commercial vehicles in the U.S. average about 192,000 trucks annually and are growing because of e-commerce. California's Advanced Clean Fleets regulation approved in April to push the transition to zero-emission trucks will be a significant market driver for the products Ree is developing. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia plan to follow all or some of California's truck regulations.