Read The Full Article On: Axios
Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.
Driving the news: With transportation now the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, governments and corporations are embracing new sustainability goals.
- Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. this summer announced a plan to require all new trucks, vans and buses in their states be electric by 2050.
The impact of the pandemic is adding to the urgency: E-commerce has exploded while people have been staying home, putting more polluting trucks on the road.
- “Amazon could become the world’s single biggest entity for emissions” — aside from China’s coal plants, the firm’s automotive analyst Adam Jonas told attendees at an online conference Thursday.
- That’s why the giant retailer’s sweeping climate change strategy includes an aggressive plan to deploy 100,000 electric delivery trucks by 2030, he noted.
- The latest is Volvo’s new VNR electric model, a regional hauler with a range of up to 150 miles that can be recharged in a little over an hour. Launched Thursday after two years of pilot tests, it will go into production early next year in Virginia.
- Freightliner, Tesla and China’s BYD are among other companies bringing electric big rigs to market in the next year or so.
- At the other end of the spectrum, Ford just introduced its E-Transit cargo van, which goes on sale late next year, and GM is reportedly planning an electric delivery van, too.
- A slew of startups are also rushing into the electric truck space, including Rivian, Arrival and Nikola.
- The Canadian company has been around since 2008 — about as long as Tesla — and just announced plans to go public via reverse merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- After the deal, which gives it access to $500 million in new capital, Lion will be worth an estimated $1.9 billion.
- The company has a multi-year purchase agreement with an unnamed customer to buy up to 2,500 electric trucks between now and 2025. As part of the deal, Lion issued the customer a warrant to buy just under 20% of the company.
- The first 10 trucks are going to Amazon. It also has orders from CN and Waste Connections, among others.
- The trucks will be manufactured at Lion’s Canadian facility, which can produce up to 2,500 per year, but with funds raised through the SPAC deal, Lion plans to open a much larger factory in the U.S.