After focusing on developing its technology and building use cases, middle-mile autonomous vehicle provider Gatik is ready to develop the ancillary items needed to accelerate adoption of its technology.
Gatik announced on Monday a partnership with electric vehicle charging provider ChargePoint Holdings (NYSE: CHPT) to develop a charging ecosystem for Gatik customers throughout North America. ChargePoint will provide infrastructure and consultant services, including site design and interoperability validation, to Gatik customers looking to adopt the company’s Class 3-6 electric and autonomous middle-mile vehicles.
“Our partnership with Gatik will help more fleets to realize their e-mobility and decarbonization goals,” said Rich Mohr, vice president of fleet at ChargePoint. “ChargePoint has proven experience across multiple customer applications and use cases. Together, ChargePoint and Gatik will provide industry-leading infrastructure and technologies for forward-thinking fleets.”
In an interview with FreightWaves last month, Mohr said the economics of operating an electric vehicle over 10 years are already better than a comparable diesel unit. ChargePoint offers an end-to-end electrification portfolio, from fleet management software to AC and DC fast-charging technology.
“Gatik’s autonomous electric fleet is uniquely positioned to increase efficiency and reliability across the supply chain’s middle mile, and drive sustainability across critical operational metrics for our customers,” said Arjun Narang, Co-founder and CTO at Gatik. “Our partnership with ChargePoint will ensure that we’re not only meeting intensifying demand for our product offering and service, but offering our customers access to national charging infrastructure and a wealth of technical advantages to support them in meeting their corporate sustainability goals.”
Gatik is building a middle-mile B2B autonomous delivery service. Through the ChargePoint partnership, Gatik will have access to a nationwide network of charging depots, including fleet-specific software with telematics tailored to each customer’s operation. Access to modular charging hardware that can minimize upfront costs is also part of the deal.
In a January interview with Modern Shipper, Sam Saad, vice president of strategic initiatives for Gatik, said the company’s agreements in 2021, which included partnerships and alliances with companies such as Isuzu, Ryder and Goodyear, would help it scale its operations this year.
Gatik has been running pilot programs with Walmart (NYSE: WMT) in Arkansas and New Orleans and with Loblaw Cos. (TSX: L.TO) in Ontario, Canada. In Arkansas, Gatik’s autonomous vehicles move items along a 7.1-mile route from a Walmart dark store (a store that stocks items for fulfillment but isn’t open to the public) to a Walmart neighborhood market in Bentonville. Those vehicles utilize ChargePoint charging systems.
Watch: How EV charging works
In October, Gatik announced a relationship with Ryder (NYSE: R) to provide vehicle lease and maintenance services. Gatik will outfit the vehicles with its self-driving technology that backbones its autonomous delivery as a service (ADaaS) model. Ryder will maintain the vehicles, including calibration of its autonomous vehicle sensors and necessary pretrip and post-trip inspections.
In August, Gatik joined the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone. That program leverages a purpose-built industrial development in North Texas as a hub of supply chain innovation. The development plays host to a number of companies, including autonomous vehicle developer TuSimple, drone companies and railroads. All the companies participating in the program are involved in moving live freight.