GoFor Industries, a Canadian last-mile delivery company, is partnering with California-based electric vehicle fleet-as-a-service (FaaS) provider Royale EV as part of a strategic move to electric vehicles starting in early 2021.
The agreement, announced Monday, is part of a huge push in the last-mile delivery space to electrify fleets as big players like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and UPS (NYSE: UPS) build custom electric delivery vans and a host of smaller companies seek novel collaborations to compete.
“The big fleets that have used electric vehicles have seen significant benefits for driver retention, safety and health,” said Ian Gardner, founder and CEO of Royale EV, commenting on the advantages of making the transition.
“What’s driving all of these companies,” he added, “is the total cost of ownership.”
Under the agreement, GoFor will first electrify its California fleet, followed by expansion across North America, with a goal of electrifying half its fleet by 2025.
“The green logistics marketplace aligns with our core values, which are rooted in driver and vehicle safety coupled with environmental protection,” Brad Rollo, GoFor CEO, said in a statement.
With Royale EV’s electric vehicles, said Rollo, “we hope to help reduce air pollution, cut sound and help reduce carbon emissions in the inner cities.”
Spurred by the pandemic, demand for more efficient delivery has created a mini gold rush for last-mile focused companies. GoFor itself raised CA$20 million in December to finance expansion into 11 new American cities.
According to Rollo, the company delivers hundreds of thousands of packages, parcels, furniture and big-and-bulky building materials each year for companies of all sizes and industries, using outsourced drivers and fleets.
GoFor’s platform connects retailers with these operators, who will now have access to Royale EV’s platform.
Royale’s solution bundles trucks, maintenance, charging and more into a single price for the driver, who can pay by the hour, week or month.
Managing a new transportation platform and infrastructure is the biggest hurdle to electrification, Gardner said, explaining that the all-in-one package is designed to help streamline some of the complexities.
Royale purchases the electric delivery vehicles from a variety of manufacturers, then leases them to the drivers.
Gardner did inject a cautionary note, saying the success of fleet electrification plans is highly dependent on available incentives, vehicle type and duty cycle.