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Udelv, Ree and Lightning eMotors unveil last-mile delivery vehicles

Announcements to optimize final-mile operations coincide with start of CES

Udelv is one of several companies that have announced last-mile vehicle platforms or technologies in the past several days. (Photo: Udelv)

When it was called the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual Las Vegas trade show was about personal electronics innovations, but in recent years CES has transitioned into the future of mobility. This year’s show is no different, with several companies this week introducing the latest vehicle technologies designed to optimize last-mile delivery.

Udelv, Ree and a combination of Here and Volta Trucks announced new products on the first two days of the show. In addition, while not announced at the show, Lightning eMotors unveiled a new electric chassis.

Udelv introduced its cabless autonomous delivery vehicle. The Udelv Transporter is powered by Mobileye’s Drive self-driving system and features a suite of cameras, LiDARs, radars and Mobileye’s EveO System-on-Chip.

The Transporter is designed with a swappable modular cargo pod called the uPod. The uPod can carry up to 2,000 pounds. The electric vehicle can make up to 80 stops on a single charge, with between 160 and 300 miles of range depending on the battery pack option. Battery charging takes about 45 minutes for a 220-mile range. Top speed is 70 miles per hour.

“This is a historic day for the transportation and logistics industries,” said Daniel Laury, Udelv CEO and co-founder. “The Transporter is transformative for two of the world’s largest industries: automotive and logistics. It was created to solve two great challenges of commercial fleets: the shortage of drivers and the electrification of fleets.”

The Transporter is a third-generation vehicle. Udelv has previously completed over 20,000 deliveries with its technology in California, Arizona and Texas since its public debut in 2018. Udelv said it will commercially deploy the Transporter in 2023 with a goal of producing 50,000 units by 2028.

While autonomous, the Transporter will be equipped with Udelv’s ultra-low latency camera-based teleoperation system for remote maneuvers and assistance as needed.

Udelv said it has more than 1,000 orders for the vehicle from companies including Donlen and Europe-based Planzer and Ziegler Group.

The Ree P7 platform allows fleet operators to install vehicle configurations as they need while providing electric power. (Photo: Ree Automotive)

Ree begins EV trials

Ree Automotive announced at CES that it has begun field trials of its P7 electric platform for delivery vehicles and walk-in vans. The P7 is a flat design that can accommodate a wide range of bodies, from cargo to passenger, and can haul up to 8,700 pounds of payload with a cargo volume of up to 1,400 cubic feet.

The P7 is powered by Ree’s ReeCorner and X-by-Wire technology that enables each wheel to move independently. It will offer battery-as-a-service and data-as-a-service programs. The company said the range will be up to 370 miles with a max speed of 80 miles per hour and 120 kWh battery capacity.

“The P7 platform is paramount in commercial vehicle design, safety and functionality. True to our vision of providing complete modularity and versatility, this platform can be configured in different sizes and optimized to suit a particular application and use case,” Daniel Barel, REE Automotive co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “The P7 will utilize REE-Hitachi’s data and application as-a-service capabilities of injecting intelligence and actionable insight into fleet operations and affording fleet owners complete visibility over their operations, allowing faster time to market, lower total ownership costs and suite of life-cycle services.”

Volta Trucks electric vehicles will be guided by technology from Here Technologies, which will provide navigation, range estimates, and more as part of a technology suite. (Photo: Volta Trucks)

Here Technologies to guide Volta Trucks

Volta Trucks announced its upcoming Volta Zero electric truck will be guided by navigation from Here Technologies. In addition, the Zero will use Here’s EV Range Assistant, a range prediction technology designed for innercity delivery operations that includes planning for multistop routes, routing, real-time traffic and turn-by-turn voice guidance.

“I’m delighted to confirm Here as the provider of our navigation system for the Volta Zero, including the integration of what3words,” Ian Collins, chief product officer of Volta Trucks, said. “Here Technologies is another world-class partner for Volta Trucks, delivering the full features of embedded navigation but with the user experience of a mobile navigation application. With Here Navigation, we can provide innovative and differentiated experiences to our drivers while simplifying our supply chain — a key benefit supporting our accelerated route to market.”

What3words divides the world into a grid of 3-meter squares and gives each square a unique combination of three random words, called a what3words address. Drivers can enter what3words addresses directly into their in-truck systems, allowing them to easily navigate to locations as specific as building entrances or loading bays.

Lightning eMotor’s eChassis enables the configuration of delivery vans and other vehicles for a wide range of uses across Class 4-5 applications. (Photo: Lightning eMotors)

Lightning eMotors unveils Lightning eChassis

Lightning eMotors, which offers both purpose-built electric vehicle chassis as well as electrification options for legacy OEM platforms, announced its Lightning eChassis. The eChassis was designed with component and chassis maker Metalsa and is designed for Class 4 and 5 vehicles.

Lightning said its eChassis support an increased gross vehicle weight rating of approximately 1,500 pounds more, on average, than other electric platforms on the market today.

“This collaboration with Metalsa will allow us to serve areas of the commercial vehicle market that are currently underserved with electrification options,” said Tim Reeser, CEO and co-founder of Lightning eMotors. “Bringing this solution to the commercial EV space represents another milestone in our strategy to offer our customers purpose-built, highly customized zero-emission vehicles that deliver superior performance at a low price.”

The eChassis, which will be available in Q2 of this year, is designed to accommodate different battery sizes and body configurations, including delivery bodies.

Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]