Merchants Fleet, which has already announced its intention to purchase nearly 18,000 electric vehicles from BrightDrop, is now adding EV step vans from Xos. The fleet management company announced it will order an undisclosed number of vans from the company, with the first 10 delivered in 2022.
“Merchants is eager to partner with emerging OEMs like Xos, who are innovating and making a significant impact in the industry,” said Hari Nayar, Merchants’ fleet director of electrification and sustainability. “Adding Xos step vans to our fleet provides our clients with a durable, reliable and cost-effective option, especially for last-mile delivery services.”
Merchants Fleet intends to purchase more than 40,000 electric vehicles as part of a $2 billion fleet electrification program. By 2025, the company has pledged to convert 50% of its fleet portfolio to electric vehicles and move to 50% electric vehicles within its managed fleet portfolio by 2030. Merchants Fleet provides fleet management, financing, service options, charging, maintenance and remarketing services.
“We are thrilled to partner with Merchants Fleet and provide them with a superior alternative to traditional fossil fuel vehicles,” said Jose Castaneda, Xos (NASDAQ: XOS) vice president of business development. “The need for clean fleet and logistics solutions is gaining momentum as both the public and private sector are moving towards a net zero carbon economy.”
Xos makes a customizable chassis with the wiring, battery mounting and axle-mounting systems for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks. Its customers include United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS), armored truck company Loomis and Japan’s Hino Motors Ltd., a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM).
Merchants Fleet recently announced its Electrify Fleet Hub, an online resource with centralized information for fleets looking to make the switch to electric vehicles as the company looks to lead EV adoption within commercial fleets. The site includes an EV finder that helps users locate current research and future EV models based on their needs.
Watch: Xos CEO Dakota Semler talks fleet electrification
The company intends to buy 12,600 of BrightDrop’s EV600 electric van and 5,400 of that firm’s smaller EV410 vans. The diversity of the vehicle orders, from BrightDrop’s two van sizes and now the step van from Xos, is part of Merchants Fleet’s desire to ensure its clients have access to an electric vehicle that suits their needs. Merchants Fleet counts Staples among its major U.S. clients. Staples is making the transition to EV vehicles in its fleet and has already deployed about 1,500 such vehicles in North America.
“The EV410 allows Merchants to offer an electrification option to both our last-mile delivery clients and other service-type vehicle clients in urban logistics, who do not require the larger size of the EV600,” a Merchants Fleet spokesperson told Modern Shipper earlier this year. “The EV410’s smaller size, maneuverability and lighter gross vehicle weight makes it an ideal option for last-mile clients and other service applications who want to make a seamless and cost-effective transition to EV.”