A Guest Post by Islandboy
Over ten years ago on April 9, 2009 the original article “Electric Commercial Vehicles” was posted at The Oil Drum web site. In Part 1 of this ten year update we reviewed the progress or lack thereof, of all the projects mentioned in the 2009 article, concluding that while some had failed, there are some that have survived and are still supplying solutions today.
In this post, we will look at some projects that have come about since the 2009 article with the aim of the transitioning of commercial vehicles to options that reduce or eliminate the direct dependence on Fossil Fuels. Vehicles that were only available as demonstration units or that were undergoing trials up to the time of this post will not be covered in this post. All of the vehicles covered in this post are available for purchase or lease as far as I am aware. First we will look at the country that is driving high volume commercial EV deployments and the means being used to achieve this.
Electric Vehicle Policies in China
Thomas L. Friedman wrote an article for the New York Times dated Sept. 25, 2010:
The end of his first paragraph reads:
“Beijing just announced that it was providing $15 billion in seed money for the country’s leading auto and battery companies to create an electric car industry, starting in 20 pilot cities. In essence, China Inc. just named its dream team of 16-state-owned enterprises to move China off oil and into the next industrial growth engine: electric cars.”
He ended the article with the following paragraph:
“If we both now create the market incentives for consumers to buy electric cars, and the plug-in infrastructure for people to drive them everywhere, it will be a win-win moon shot for both countries. The electric car industry will flourish in the U.S. and China, and together we’ll tackle the next challenge: using auto battery innovations to build big storage batteries for wind and solar. However, if only China puts the gasoline prices and infrastructure in place, the industry will gravitate there. It will be a moon shot for them, a hobby for us, and you’ll import your new electric car from China just like you’re now importing your oil from Saudi Arabia.”
Now, eight years and six months later he appears to have been somewhat prophetic. See the following web pages:
One city in China has more electric buses than all of America’s biggest cities have buses
China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks
Chinese electric buses making biggest dent in worldwide oil demand
This is not by chance, not even remotely so.
In it’s Spring2013 issue, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, published the an article with the title China’s Quest to adopt electric Vehicles. (The linked article requires a subscription to view but I had originally found the article via a web search, archived at the Harvard Business School web site, one of the authors being a member of faculty there).
“The Chinese auto industry reached a major milestone in 2009. After a decade of continuous growth, China became the largest car market in the world. In 2012, it also became the world’s largest producer of emissions, in part from the rapid spread of personal cars and gasoline-powered trucks and buses. The Chinese government understood that it had an environmental problem.
China’s twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011–2015), its core economic and social development road-map, identified seven strategic emerging industries to which the country will devote enhanced policy and financial support. One of these is the alternative fuel vehicle industry, including electric vehicles (EVs). In 2009, the government launched a series of policies and incentives to promote development of the EV sector. By June 2012, critical governmental targets were established: 500,000 EVs (pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles) by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.”
Further reading on the China’s policy framework for EVs can be found at the following links:
Opportunities and Challenges in China’s Electric Vehicle Market
China’s All In On Electric Vehicles: Here’s How That Will Accelerate Sales In Other Nations.
ASSESSMENT OF ELECTRIC CAR PROMOTION POLICIES IN CHINESE CITIES (60 page Whitepaper (PDF))
The following articles relate specifically to the implications of China’s EV policy for commercial vehicles
It should be pointed out that, while the current US administration and Senate majority focus on appeasing their donors and friends in the fossil fuel industries, clinging to legacy industries, China is forging ahead with rapid progress in the area of electric vehicle manufacturing, adding to their existing dominance in the solar PV manufacturing arena. It remains to be seen how continuation of support for legacy energy industries at the expense of renewable energy and related industries will help the US in the long term.
Electric Commercial Vehicles Developed or Deployed after 2009
“The BYD K9 (sometimes just referred to as the BYD ebus or BYD electric bus) is a battery electric bus manufactured by the Chinese automaker BYD Auto, powered with its self-developed lithium iron phosphate battery, featuring the longest drive range of 250 km (155 miles) on one single charge under urban road conditions.
The first BYD battery electric bus was manufactured on September 30, 2010 in Changsha city of Hunan province. It followed vehicles like F3DM, F6DM and e6. K9 has a 12-meter body length and 18-ton weight with one-step low-floor interior. It is reportedly priced at 2–3 million yuan (S$395,000 – S$592,600). It has been running and/or tested in China, India, Japan, Hong Kong, U.S., Colombia, Chile, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Aruba and Singapore. More than 200 K9s in service in Shenzhen had accumulated over 9,216,000 km (or 5,529,600 miles) by the end of August, 2012.
In both 2011 and 2012, BYD obtained orders from amounting to 1200+ units. The company extended its production base in Tianjin, China at the end of July, 2012 and may plan to manufacture in Brazil and Windsor, Canada. BYD built and operates an electric bus factory in Lancaster, California, US. The new factory started production in October, 2013. In December 2014, another manufacturing plant began operation in Dalian, Liaoning, China”
In January 2019 the BYD web site announced, BYD Rolls Out its 50,000th Pure Electric Bus
In December 2013 ElectricCarReport.com reported on the BYD K9 pictured above:
The Transport for London (TfL) and bus operator Go-Ahead London began a trial of the Capital’s first electric buses.
Routes 507 and 521 will trial the new buses as the technology is particularly suitable for busy short commuter services which operate between Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge stations.
The trial will help TfL develop plans for greater use of electric buses in central London in the future, supporting the Mayor’s vision of a central London Ultra Low Emission Zone.
The 12-metre single deck electric buses were built by Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Ltd.
ADL BYD Enviro200EV
One result of the successful trial of the BYD K9 in London was a partnership between BYD and Alexander Dennis Limited to build the Enviro200EV as outlined in the following thorough review, from the web site of UK coach and bus industry news magazine, Route One
An article from the UK air quality news site, AirQualityNews.com, with the title London’s electric bus fleet expands revealed:
“Close to 200 fully-electric single deck buses are now in operation in the capital with the Mayor of London having outlined an ambition to have all new double-deck buses deployed in the capital either hybrid, electric or hydrogen powered in his transport strategy last year”
This should be viewed in the context of numbers outlined in the first section of this post, the 16,359 electric buses that make up the fleet in the city of Shenzen, China and the addition of an electric bus fleet the size of the entire fleet of the city of London every five weeks in China!
“Proterra’s EcoRide BE35 is a 35 ft (11 m) composite body, fast-charge, battery electric bus that seats 38 (including the driver) and has a passenger capacity of 60. Foothill Transit was the first user of the buses, which rolled out in September 2010 and the first series-produced bus was completed in December 2010. It is the first 30 ft (9 m) or larger, heavy-duty all-electric bus ever to complete federally required durability, reliability and safety testing at the Bus Research and Testing Center at Altoona, Pennsylvania. The 12yr/500,000 mi (800,000 km) STURAA test was completed on March 5, 2012.
Results from the STURAA test showed an average, combined fuel economy of 1.81 kWh/mi (1.12 kW⋅h/km) or 20.84 miles per US gallon (8.86 km/l) diesel equivalent. Compared to the buses it replaces—conventional diesel buses average 3.86 miles per US gallon (1.64 km/l); CNG buses return 3.27 miles per US gallon (1.39 km/l) diesel equivalent; and diesel-hybrid buses average about 4.6 miles per US gallon (2.0 km/l)—the results are up to 600% better.”
In April 2017 insideevs.com reported:
”The largest upcoming order, for some 73 buses, comes from Seattle’s King County Metro; while the total orders (including those delivered) now stands at more than 380, so Proterra has a nice backlog to keep production humming along.”
A September 19, 2018 article from Trucks.com titled, With Proterra Investment, Daimler Pushes Electric Bus Development stated,
”Proterra opened a factory in the City of Industry, just east of Los Angeles, last year. It said the plant would be capable of building 400 electric buses annually in its 100,000-square-foot space.”
Again these numbers should be seen in the context of 1,900 electric buses a week being manufactured in China.
Iveco Electric Daily
Iveco, a manufacturer of a range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicle haedquartered in Turin, Italy actually developed and built the first Daily with electric propulsion in 1986. In 2009 GreenCarCongress.com reported, Iveco Electric Daily Prototype Begins Testing in Brazil
In August 2010, the web site autoevolution.com reportedl Iveco Launches EcoDaily Electric in the UK
“The British division of Iveco announced today the EcoDaily Electric van and chassis cab, reportedly suited for short-distance journeys and door-to-door deliveries in an urban environment, are now available in the UK and Ireland.”
The web site of monthly UK magazine Fleet News reported in November 2015:
Iveco has launched an electric version of its latest generation Daily large van.
The vehicle has been unveiled at Ecomondo, a trade fair dedicated to the green economy.
The article above links to an earlier article from November 2014:
Iveco has questioned whether large electric panel vans will ever be viable in the UK, after admitting it has yet to sell a Daily Electric after four years on the market.
The Italian commercial vehicle manufacturer has invested millions in bringing alternatively-fuelled vehicles to market in the past 10 years after governments across the EU urged manufacturers to embrace cleaner fuels.
But while countries such as Italy and Germany offer generous discounts for fleets running green-fuelled vans, the UK Government is lagging far behind and needs to do more, according to Iveco.
“As things stand at present there is no way it makes business sense to run a Daily Electric van,” says Martin Flach, Iveco product director.
It appears that Iveco was able to sell a few examples of the Daily in other markets in Europe as evidenced by the following 2016 press relese from Iveco and a February 2018 article from the Italian magazine Vado e Torno:
Daily Electric conquering Italy and Europe
This delivery to Noval included, there are more than 150 pure electric vehicles sold since 2009, divided between MY09, 12, 14 and the new MY16 and exerted by the most important players in the sector of distribution and transportation of people. One example is Deutsche Post (Parcel Delivery – Germany) with 71 units and FCC (Garbage Collection – Spain) with 27 units. Other major customers are: Lyreco, Swedish Post, Austrian Post, Oslo Taxi Bus etc.
It is interesting that with “more than 150 vehicles sold since 2009”, it is says the “ Daily Electric conquering Italy and Europe”. This brings up the story of the joint venture between Smith Electric and FDG Electric Vehicle Ltd. of Hong Kong, that was mentioned at the end of the section on Smith EVs in part 1
In part 1 of this series, the segment on Smith Electric Vehicles reported on a joint venture between Smith Electric and FDG Electric Vehicle Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed firm based in Mainland China. ”In mid-2015, Smith Electric and FDG announced they were forming a joint venture to produce electric vehicles. Chanje is that JV.”. The following is an article detailing an announcement involving Chanje:
FedEx Corp. is expanding its fleet to add 1,000 Chanje V8100 electric delivery vehicles, buying 100 from Chanje Energy and leasing 900 from Ryder System.
The purpose-built electric vehicles will be operated by FedEx Express for commercial and residential pick-up and delivery services in California.
The vehicles are manufactured by FDG in Hangzhou, China, and purchased through Chanje Energy Inc., the company’s subsidiary for global business. Ryder System, which will provide support services for all of the vehicles, called it the largest commercial electric vehicle purchase in the United States.
The article above includes a link to an eight and a half minute video review of the vehicle (if you click on the link you might want to change the video quality to save on bandwidth. The default is 720p (HD) but, the lowest resolution available, 360p should be fine for most people). All appearances from the video are that, this is a mass produced vehicle. With an initial order for 1,000 vehicles in the first year, as opposed to 150 vehicles for the Iveco Daily Electric over a period of nine years in all of Europe, apparently this is a real development and is illustrative of the Chinese approach to business.
Renault Kangoo Z.E.
“As part of its Z.E. electric car initiative, Renault has developed the Kangoo Z.E. model that is manufactured at its Maubeuge plant, and released the electric van for retail sales in October 2011.
A total of 3,652 Kangoo Z.E. utility vans were registered in France through December 2012, and, with 2,869 units delivered in 2012, the electric van became the top selling plug-in electric vehicle in the country. During 2011 the Kangoo Z.E. sold 991 units in Europe, and cumulative sales in the region reached 6,658 units sold in the region through December 2012, with global sales of 6,665 units.
Worldwide cumulative sales passed the 10,000 mark in early September 2013, representing about 10% of overall Kangoo van global sales. The Kangoo Z.E. is the leader of the small all electric van segment, and the best selling electric vehicle in France, with 9,125 units registered through June 2014. The Kangoo Z.E. is the world’s top selling all-electric light utility vehicle, with global sales of 38,527 units delivered since inception through December 2018“
Renault Maxity Electric
“Maxity electric was developed by Renault Trucks with PVI and EDF under the terms of a framework agreement for the development of electrically-powered heavy goods and light commercial vehicles to overcome the often severe dimensional and environmental constraints encountered in many European town centres. Its main advantages are the lack of atmosphere-polluting and CO2 emissions and also the absence of any sound pollution. This allows Renault Maxity to retain all its intrinsic qualities (mobility, easy body mounting, etc.), while at the same time significantly improving its environmental credentials.”
The following links report on deployments of the Renault Maxity Electric:
RENAULT TRUCKS PRESENTS THE KEYS OF THE FIRST MAXITY ELECTRIC “ZERO EMISSION” LCV TO TAFANEL
The Maxity electric vehicle equipped with a small residential garbage dumpster
Greenway Services Presents Success Story Of Using Renault Maxity Electric Trucks
The French Post Office used examples of this truck with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender which doubled the range.See:
Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot PartnerElectric
The Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner are almost identical vehicles, based on the same body shell with the same mechanical components, with non-electric variants produced by PSA Peugeot Citroën since 1996. In 2008 a second generation of these vehicles was launched with some changes to the body and a refreshed set of power plants. In 2009 PSA won the European tender launched by La Poste (french postal services) to provide its postmen with electric vehicles. This electric version of the Citroën Berlingo was developed in collaborated with Venturi, a former builder of limited production, luxury sport cars, that had switched focus to electric-powered vehicles.
VENTURI AUTOMOBILES and CITROËN have won the european tender launched by La Poste (french postal services) with their Berlingo First Electric. To provide its postmen with electric vehicles, and following several months of tests held under real conditions, La Poste will have 250 Berlingo First Electric “Powered by Venturi”.
In September 2012, the web site ElectricCarsReport.com reported:
Peugeot Partner Electric commercial van will go on sale in the second quarter of 2013, French automaker announced today.
The Peugeot Electric van is born from a partnership with Mitsubishi; the same partnership which saw the creation of the i-MiEV-based iOn electric car.
A web page with a thorough description and review of these vehicles can be seen at the web site of UK, used EV specialists, Go Green Autos
See also:Citroën Berlingo Electric
The following article from the Autocar Magazine web site gives some sales numbers for the Berlingo for 2016:
DHL Streetscooter Work
In an interview with Professor Günther Schuh , published at the web site of the on-line magazine Future Lab Aachen, under the headline StreetScooter – How it all began, the story began at the RWTH Aachen University. in the ancient town of Aachen about 100km West of Bonn in October 2006.
A team of researchers at the University set out to develop a vehicle with the goal of producing an electric car so cheaply that the total cost of ownership at least matches if not undercuts that of a comparable internal combustion vehicle. Their work garnered the interest of DHL which ultimately led to the refinement of the concept to DHL specifications and the 2012 presentation of the “WORK” prototype. According to DHL, no makers of conventional vans that it approached were interesting in making a suitable, bespoke vehicle in the relatively low quantities needed. DHL didn’t bother to waste any time trying to convince mainstream automakers to build a delivery van to meet it’s specifications, instead it acquired the company that had been formed out of the research at RWTH Aachen University, StreetScooter GmbH in 2014.
More reading on the StreetScooter cn be found at:
Deutsche Post DHL makes its own electric delivery vans
How this German electric vehicle manufacturer hit a .high note in 2018
VW not happy with DHL for building its own EV van
DHL Kicks VW While It’s Down; Builds Its Own Electric Delivery Van”
Deutsche Post produces 20,000 StreetScooters each year
StreetScooter – About Us
A choice quote from the link, “ How this German electric vehicle manufacturer hit a .high note in 2018”, is:
The commercial sector is making its move
And it’s being led by an unexpected name. The news that you may have missed was picked up by automotive analyst Matthias Schmidt on Twitter. Schmidt noticed that the highest selling electric vehicle in Germany in September 2018 wasn’t from Renault, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz or Tesla, but a small startup called StreetScooter.
DHL Streetscooter Work XL
From August 16, 2017
In June, Deutsche Post DHL announced the first StreetScooter WORK XL electric delivery vans, built on the Ford Transit chassis.
Now we learn that the Deutsche Post intends to assemble the EVs in Aachen, Germany.
In total, some 150 pre-production WORK XL models will be build this year, and more than 2,500 by the end of 2018.
The WORK XL supplements in-house developed StreetScooter WORK and WORK L vans.
The StreetScooter WORK XL will be equipped with battery packs ranging from 30-90 kWh, good for 80-200 km (50-124 miles) of range. The cargo capacity stands at 20 cubic meters (or space for over 200 packages).
3-phase 22 kW on-board charger also provides decent charging capability.
Importantly (and something we think is a novel idea), all the Deutsche Post DHL EVs: the WORK (4 cubic meters), extended version WORK L (8 cubic meters) and new WORK XL will also be available to third parties to buy.
From October 10, 2018
DHL wants 3,500 StreetScooter WORK XL units annually.
Ford has begun production of the new all-electric van, the Deutsche Post StreetScooter WORK XL, at its plant in Cologne, Germany.
The StreetScooter WORK XL is based on a Ford Transit chassis, but with a battery (up to 76 kWh for 200 km /124 miles of range). The drivetrain and body is designed and built to Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter specifications.
Some 16 units will be assembled each day, by around 180 employees in two shifts (up to 3,500 annually), which should be enough to make StreetScooter WORK XL one of the most popular electric vans, although not yet ahead of Renault Kangoo Z.E. or Nissan e-NV200.
Eforce One AG
In July 2013 GreenCarCongress reported:
The E-FORCE truck was jointly developed by EFORCE ONE AG and Designwerk GmbH for use in short-haul services and the national distribution of goods. The lead customers will each put one truck into their fleets for evaluation from August 2013. Both COOP—the second largest retailer in Switzerland—and Feldschlösschen—the biggest brewery in Switzerland—are considering adding more electric trucks in the near future.
The company maintains an active web site and offers four separate models of heavy duty electric trucks. No information is available on-line as to how many of these trucks have been deployed, apart from the two listed in the article above.
Further reading on the E-Force truck can be found at the URLs below:
This vehicle was developed by Nissan following the introduction of the Nissan Leaf to several markets world wide. It is based on Nissan Leaf battery and drive-train components, so much so that the part numbers for the traction motor for the two vehicles are identical. It differs from the Leaf in that the battery pack, while using identical modules, incorporates active cooling with the aid of the vehicles air conditioning system. It offers slightly less range than the Leaf and when the Leaf battery pack was upgraded from 24 to 30 kWh in 2016, the eNV200 also received the upgrade. With the introduction of the 2018 Leaf with a 40 kWh battery pack a 40 kWh version of the eNV 200 was introduced in Japan. With the introduction of the 2019 Leaf+ with the 60 kWh pack, there has been no word of any upgrades for the eNV200 from Nissan to date.
Further reading on the eNV200 can be found at the following links
New Flyer XE40
In June 2012 ElectricVehicleResearch.com reported New Flyer unveils first all-electric transit bus prototype. In October 2014 Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine, under the headline New Flyer’s XE40 electric transit bus reported:
New Flyer built a battery-electric pilot bus in 2012, andit began shuttle service operation in March 2014. To date, New Flyer has built six XE40s for North American customers, and expects five of them to enter service in the coming weeks.
In October 2015 Mass Transit Magazine reported, DC Metro to Add New Flyer Xcelsior XE40 Battery-Electric Bus, reporting an announcement that New Flyer will deliver a single all electric transit bus to the Washington Area Transit Authority (Metro) in 2016.
In December 2018 insideevs.com carried the story New Flyer Sold 77 Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Buses In California which included the following sentence:
According to New Flyer, company already has sold 77 Xcelsior CHARGE across California (including Coachella Valley, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, and San Diego), which means that nationwide plus Canada it is in three-digit range now.
It appears that New Flyer is even Further behind it’s Chinese competition than Proterra. It remains to be seen how long it will be before these US operations are manufacturing electric buses at similar rates as the rates they manufacture conventional diesel or natural gas powered models at.
The letters LDV stand for Leyland Daf Vans, suggesting that the brand has a heritage that goes back to the formation of The Lancashire Steam Motor Company in Britain in 1896. That heritage can be explored by visiting the Wikipedia entry on Leyland Trucks. However, the LDV company entered administration in 2009 and the intellectual property rights were sold to Chinese firm Eco Concept on 15 October 2009. Eventually ending up owned by SAIC Motor in 2010, with production commencing in China in March 2011.
The following article recounts the return of the LDV brand to Britain:
The following link is to a review of the EV80 partially based on a November 2017 test drive, by UK vehicle information and trading web site, Parkers
LEVC TX (London cab)
The LEVC TX (previously known as the TX5) is a purpose-built hackney carriage manufactured by the London EV Company (LEVC), a subsidiary of the Chinese auto-maker Geely. It is the latest in a succession of purpose-built hackney carriages produced by LEVC and various predecessor entities. The LEVC TX is a plug-in hybrid range-extender electric vehicle. Like its competitor, the Ecotive Metrocab, the vehicle is designed to comply with Transport for London’s Taxi Private Hire regulations, which from 1 January 2018, banned new diesel-powered taxis and requires zero-emissions capability.
In September 2018, BusinessCloud (UK) reported, Taxi giant’s electric cabs leading pollution fight
The CEO of Gett UK is targeting the mass adoption of electric cabs as the taxi giant unveiled plans to go ‘carbon positive’.
Matteo de Renzi says there are already between 200 and 300 of the new LEVC TX black cabs on UK roads – the majority of them on his company’s platform – and he wants to see 2,000 by the end of 2019.
There was another effort to create a modern electrified version of the iconic London cab by UK engineering firm Frazer-Nash but they were sued by LECV for patent infingement based on a claim that the Frazer-Nash designed Metrocab was intended to br passed of as a TX. Frazer-Nash prevailed against the law suite but, in August 2018 it was reported that:
Below are links to reviews of the LEVC TX
Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter
From July 2017:
Daimler starts production of Fuso eCanter in Europe
Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia said at the occasion: “With today’s start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series. From now on we can address the growing demand for locally emission free delivery trucks in Mega-Cities. We already received the first customer orders and will mark the global launch of this truck in one of the most iconic Mega-Cities, in New York, this September. Our Portuguese plant does not only produce the trucks for Europe and the US, we also benefit from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon testing the trucks there since 2014.”
In September 2017 the web site of Commercial Carrier Journal reported:
MFTBC begins its initial eCanter rollout to customers in the United States, Japan and Europe, delivering 50 vehicles to customers in each region by year-end 2017, and 500 units overall within the first two years. Fuso eCanters for the European and U.S. markets are now being manufactured at MFTBC’s production facility in Tramagal, Portugal, alongside production of the company’s conventional Canter truck models.
This was also reported at Motor1.com.
In November, Japan Today reported, Mitsubishi Fuso to launch ‘world’s 1st’ electric truck in Japan
Mitsubishi Fuso will deliver 25 units of the truck to each of 7-Eleven Japan Co Ltd and Yamato Transport Co Ltd. They will start to be used in or after November 2017. The truck is manufactured in Japan and Portugal. Mitsubishi Fuso plans to produce 150 units within 2017, expecting to increase the production volume in 2018.
There has been considerable progress in the development of practical commercial electric vehicles that serve the needs of transit agencies, municipalities and commerce. However, while the development of many of the vehicles covered in part 1 was centered around the US and UK markets, these two markets have fallen seriously behind with the possible exception of the state of California and the city of London.
It should be noted that of the fifteen or so vehicles covered in this article only two were developed in North America (Proterra and New Flyer). The two that were developed in the UK (LEVC TX and ADL BYD Enviro200EV) benefited considerably from the input of Chinese companies, one developed by a wholly Chinese owned company and the latter a collaboration between a UK company and BYD of China. Three are Chinese (BYD, LDV and Chanje), with the LDV having European heritage in name only, bringing the number with strong Chinese input to five. Two of the vehicles were developed in Japan by Japanese companies with strong European connection (Nissan part of the Nissan/Renault alliance and Mitsubishi-Fuso in which Daimler AG holds a 90% stake). The remaining six were almost entirely European efforts based on a history of experimentation with EVs.
Based on the Chinese government incentives for and support of EV manufacturing, it is going to be difficult for western companies to gain any footholds in the booming market for EVs in China. These companies will also have to contend with an increasing presence of Chinese products in western markets. However there are indications that western manufacturers are fighting back, with a slew of new offerings undergoing trials over the past couple of years becoming available this year.
In Part 3, we will look at commercial vehicles that have been in use for decades but have been overlooked. In a subsequent part (or parts) we will be looking at the vehicles that have become available over the past several months or are scheduled for availability over the coming months and years, some of which may not make it to market.