A House panel made plans to examine the U.S. Postal Service’s awarding of a blockbuster truck-building contract to Oshkosh Corp. and another lawmaker raised questions about stock trades just prior to the contract announcement.
Workhorse’s bid to replace delivery trucks for the Postal Service with an all-electric fleet had been viewed as the favorite, especially after President Joe Biden ordered the government to utilize emissions-free vehicles. But Oshkosh won the bid last month with a fleet that will be mostly gasoline-powered.
“So, you want to replace the second largest fleet in America with fossil-fuel-based vehicles?” said House Subcommittee on Government Relations Chairman Gerry Connolly of Virginia. “If you project from now until 25 years from now, you’ll be the only gas-powered or diesel powered vehicle on the road.”
Read the article at Autoblog
The Detroit Bureau
By 2040, the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery fleet will comprise zero–emission electric vehicles, according to the delivery services giant. The effort starts with phased programs to replace existing vehicles.
By 2025, 50% of FedEx Express global package pickup and delivery vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by 2030, the company said.
GM’s newly launched subsidiary, BrightDrop, which will offer new electric first-to-last-mile products, from ePallets to a fully electric commercial delivery vehicle, is partnering with FedEx Express. The delivery company plans to test two BrightDrop vehicles. FedEx is scheduled to get the first 500 BrightDrop vans by year end, thousands more later on.
Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.
It’s the dilemma every automaker is frantically trying to solve: Convincing Americans to give up gas-powered cars for electric vehicles. The barriers are diverse. There’s range anxiety. A lack of nationwide chargers. Steep prices. A general bewilderedness of what an electric vehicle is and how it works.
Many automakers, however, are deciding to build snappy EVs that offer solid range at attractive prices – a strategy that could pump up sales and market share – of EVs this year. The average transaction price of an EV in 2020 was $54,206 vs. an industry average of $39,251 – an increase of 38.1%, according to Edmunds.
The most affordable EV on the market currently belongs to British marque MINI Cooper. The quirky automaker unveiled its hardtop two-door SE last March. Roughly 1,200 units of the $29,995 hatchback have been sold in the U.S. and more than 80% of SE buyers are new to the brand.
Read the article at MSN/ABC.
During several days of brutal cold in Texas, the city of Austin saw its fleet of 12 new electric buses rendered inoperative by a statewide power outage. That problem will be magnified next year, when officials plan to start purchasing electric-powered vehicles exclusively.
More electric cars will require both charging infrastructure and much greater electric-grid capacity. Utilities and power generators will have to invest billions of dollars creating that additional capacity while also facing the challenge of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
A model utility with two to three million customers would need to invest between $1,700 and $5,800 in grid upgrades per EV through 2030, according to Boston Consulting Group. Assuming 40 million EVs on the road, that investment could reach $200 billion.
Read the article at Reuters.
McKinsey & Company
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily slowed growth, the mobility sector is undergoing a profound transformation and opening new opportunities for players that are willing to invest in vehicle electrification, autonomous driving, and other revolutionary products and services.
The next normal has accelerated the interest in autonomous technology, with more North American respondents stating that they would be more likely to take deliveries from autonomous vehicles (AVs) and were willing to use AVs for people transport. This shift in consumer sentiment and acceptance could unlock opportunities for AV players to test, pilot, and deploy AV deliveries.
Educational efforts will be particularly important for AVs, since public trust remains low and many people are still reluctant to use these vehicles. In addition, the greater openness of consumers toward autonomous-delivery solutions could make them more familiar with AV technology, potentially opening more opportunities.
Read the article at McKinsey & Company.
When Winter Storm Uri swept through Texas, the whole state shut down. Electricity was hit-or-miss for several days, with certain areas of the state (read: lower-income areas) hit the hardest. And that doesn’t bode well for introducing electric vehicles on a wider scale.
Austin, the state capitol of Texas, has spent the last two decades budgeting $650 million for electric buses and a charging facility for 187 of those vehicles. In 2022, if Austin needs to buy a vehicle, it’s going to buy an electric one. But city officials certainly didn’t plan or a winter storm to render those buses essentially inoperable because they couldn’t be charged. If there’s ever a surge in demand for power again in the future, the whole city could suffer.
Power grids across the country have been overtaxed for years. The switch to EVs will ultimately require grids to be taxed even further as a result of a more robust charging infrastructure. A multi-million dollar investment in EVs will require a multi-billion dollar investment in infrastructure to ensure the country keeps functioning.
Read the article at MSN.
By Donald Dunphy
It’s too late in the game to deny the profound effect electric vehicles will have over transportation very soon.
With well-worn concerns regarding vehicle pricing, infrastructure, and the ever-present range anxiety being addressed, resistance is fading.
Add to that a renewed commitment to EV from the Biden administration and that includes the United States Postal Service,
Fleet Management Weekly spoke to Marc Geller, a director with the Electric Auto Association on the subject. He is a writer in the area of public and corporate policy related to electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and related source energy, and was a co-founder of the non-profit advocacy group Plug In America.
“We’re now at the point where the cost of making a battery-electric vehicle shows no tremendous premium over an internal combustion vehicle, and if you’re looking at the overall cost of ownership, EV and internal combustion vehicles are pretty much at parity already, given the lower cost of electricity compared to gasoline and diesel.”