Bollinger just announced their upcoming Deliver-E, a fully electric delivery van. We often focus on consumer vehicles that tend to have an emphasis on power with a sleek look. The Deliver-E is the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Its weird boxy look won’t excite anyone for the future of delivery. But zero-emissions delivery vans like it could do more for the environment than any consumer electric car.

Parcel delivery is prime for electrification. This study from the University of California took a look at the opportunities presented by zero-emissions delivery vans. They found that the vast majority of routes these vans run are under 100 miles. We have the technology today to electrify these fleets.

In particular, beverage, linen, food, and parcel delivery routes within a 100-mile distance represent more than 80% of their daily trips. Moreover, more than 95% of parcel route sare below this level. These are important findings because they show the opportunities for electrification in last mile distribution since these range requirements are easily fulfilled by commercially available technologies.

I’ve never been a proponent of buying an EV purely for the environmental benefits. But the impact of buying a single EV is dwarfed by the impact of Amazon buying 100,000 electric deliver vans from Rivian. The reductions in emissions as commercial vehicle fleets become electrified will be massive. Bollinger clearly sees that commercial vehicles need to be electric. But delivery vans certainly don’t need to look nice.

Bollinger has yet to deliver the truck or SUV that they unveiled last September. To me, they seem similar to Nikola, a company desperate to innovate to pull investor dollars so they can stay afloat while failing to bring a product to market. So maybe the Bollinger Deliver-E won’t be the box to save the world. But there are other players in the zero-emissions delivery van world. And something like Rivian’s delivery van made for Amazon could help to significantly reduce emissions across the globe.

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