Electric Last Mile Systems (ELMS) will debut the second of its fully electric delivery vehicles at the upcoming Route Consultant Contractor Expo on July 30-31. The event is the largest FedEx Ground contractors event in the country and will be held in Nashville, Tennessee.
ELMS will show a prototype of its Class 3 vehicle, what it is calling the Urban Utility. The vehicle will join its smaller Class 1 sibling, the Urban Delivery cargo van, which will also be on display. The Class 1 is expected to enter production later this year, with the larger Class 3 vehicle being prepared for a second-half 2022 launch, the company said.
ELMS will be joined at the Route Consultant Contractor Expo by its strategic distribution partner, Randy Marion Automotive Group. Both vehicles will be available for test drive, ELMS said.
In addition, ELMS said a shareholder vote is set for Thursday to approve its merger with Forum Merger III Corp. (NASDAQ: FLLL), a special purpose acquisition company. Assuming approval by Forum’s shareholders, the company will debut on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ELMS.
“We have seen strong early indications of interest in our Urban Utility from fleets seeking more efficient and sustainable last-mile delivery solutions,” said James Taylor, co-founder and CEO of ELMS. “With our reveal, we are excited to show our full suite of last-mile e-mobility solutions to some of the country’s largest delivery providers.”
The Urban Utility will have an estimated range of 250 miles unloaded with an expected payload of 5,700 pounds. A variety of cargo box lengths will be available. The Urban Utility is also expected to come with a suite of connectivity solutions that would allow fleet operators full visibility of their vehicles in near real time, as well as the ability to turn each vehicle into a Wi-Fi hot spot. In addition, over-the-air software update capabilities will reduce vehicle downtime.
ELMS also plans to offer up-fitting solutions to customize the Urban Utility to fleets’ individual end-use cases.
ELMS is building its vehicles based on a Chinese design but adapting it for the North American market. The batteries and power system will come from China but the skateboard chassis will be sourced in the U.S. This approach helps ELMS avoid costs to retrofit the chassis for electric motors. Unlike competitive vehicles, ELMS’ products are purpose-built for cargo. Its Urban Delivery van features a 42 kilowatt battery and between 170 and 180 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
FedEx push to help contractors be greener
FedEx announced earlier this year that it would help its 5,500 U.S. ground delivery contractors, also known as independent service providers (ISPs), achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Part of that is providing them access to electric vehicles. In a statement in March, FedEx said that it would “support the inclusion of electric vehicle technology” as part of the ISPs’ business plans.
The package giant has said it will operate a fully carbon-neutral delivery network by 2040. The company has more than 180,000 surface transportation vehicles in its worldwide fleet, including 80,000 vehicles that are utilized daily in delivering parcels in business-to-business and business-to-consumer service.