Why Delivery Giants Walmart, Amazon, FedEx & UPS even Deal with Collapsing EV Startups: EV SPAC Canoo is the Latest

Scaring legacy automakers into finally producing electric cargo vans is like pulling teeth.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

EV startup Canoo, which went public via merger with a SPAC in December 2020, and whose shares then promptly spiked and collapsed, and which said in its Q1 earnings report that it might not have enough dough to continue “as a going concern,” and which became one of the stars of my Imploded Stocks column, and which has yet to deliver any EVs, well, it  announced today that it had inked a deal for Walmart to purchase 4,500 electric delivery vans someday.

Details have not been disclosed, and as is the case in all these deals of future purchases of a large number of electric delivery vans that don’t yet exist, there is lots of wriggle room in it for both parties, as is the case with the Walmart-GM BrightDrop deal, the Amazon-Rivian deal, the Amazon-Stellantis deal,  the Amazon-GM BrightDrop deal, the UPS-Arrival deal, the FedEx-GM BrightDrop deal, or any of the others.

Canoo shares [GOEV] spiked by a phenomenally glorious 110% this morning, and by the close gave up half of that spike, and are up 53%. That 80% spike or 100% spike or whatever earlier was a huge deal in the headlines everywhere this morning. But shares were just $2.38 yesterday, and so the huge spike today was only to $5.00 this morning, and now back to $3.63. The shares are still down 84% from the intraday peak in December 2020. And today’s jump was just a little uptick in the collapse (data via YCharts):

Whatever will come of this order from Walmart, and whether or not Canoo has even enough cash to ramp up production to manufacture these vans, to Walmart this is irrelevant.

What Walmart wants is a lot of competition in the electric van space, and it wants to motivate the legacy van makers – Ford are you getting the hint? – to get on the ball and start producing top-notch electric vans that were designed from a blank sheet as electric vans, and with Walmart specs in mind.

Scaring legacy automakers into finally producing electric cargo vans is like pulling teeth.

It makes sense for Walmart, Amazon, UPS, and FedEx to throw their weight around in the development of EVs for urban delivery of packages. The legacy automakers have refused to build them until the giants started making deals with a bunch of startups, threatening to steal that business.

These huge delivery companies really really want to put electric vans into their urban delivery fleets because electric propulsion systems are ideally suited for urban delivery, where routes are generally below 100 miles a day, and there is no range anxiety. Vehicles can be charged up overnight at the warehouse, and electric motors are so much more efficient particularly in stop-and-go traffic, than ICE vehicles, which turn somewhere between 70% to 100% (at idle) of the energy they use into waste heat. Electric vans can capture some of the braking energy (otherwise waste heat) with regenerative braking that charges the battery every time the vehicle is slowed. And maintenance costs are lower than on ICE vans.

Every one of these massive companies that do urban deliveries wants electric vans – and have been wanting them for years and have been ordering them for years. And they’re just not forthcoming.

Another problem that needs to be shaken up: Ford.

Ford, the dominant player in the US delivery van business with its Transit van series, dropped the ball on EV vans. It focused its EV energies on the F-150 Lightening and the Mustang Mach-E. And so it doesn’t have a blank-sheet electric van model.

What it has come out with are last-minute-designed electric conversions of its ICE vans – putting the electric components into a vehicle designed for ICE components, and that’s never a good solution. And that’s the number one market leader in ICE vans.

GM is finally coming out with a blank-sheet electric delivery van under its BrightDrop division.

Ram, which builds the popular ProMaster delivery van, is coming out with an electric van. But with Ram now being a brand of Stellantis, this electric van will be based on a Fiat van.

Walmart and FedEx made deals with GM’s BrightDrop.

Walmart also made a deal with GM’s BrightDrop to “reserve” 5,000 electric delivery vans, which it expects to go into service in 2023, according to BrightDrop.

FedEx had put in a reservation for 500 BrightDrop vans and received the first five prototypes in December last year for testing. In January, it then put in an order for an additional 2,000 vans.

FedEx said that it hopes electric vans will make up half of all of its van purchases by 2025, and 100% by 2030. The numbers in this business are just huge: FedEx’s fleet of electric vans may eventually reach 250,000 vehicles, it said.

UPS made a deal with Arrival.

UPS put in an order with UK-based EV startup Arrival for 10,000 electric delivery vans, with the option to purchase 10,000 more vans. The order is subject to cancellation at any time, and without penalty, like so many of these types of orders. The deal was announced in early 2020. UPS also invested an “undisclosed amount” in Arrival.

UPS, during its earnings call on February 1, 2022, said that it will “purchase” 425 Arrival vans in 2022, and beyond testing some prototypes, still doesn’t operate any of the vans.

Following the hype-and-hoopla announcement of the UPS deal, Arrival announced later in 2020 that it would merge with a SPAC in the US. The merger was completed in March 2021, with shares trading on the Nasdaq, where they promptly collapsed by 94% from the hype-and-hoopla high to today’s penny-stock of $1.46 (data via YCharts):

Amazon made deals with Rivian, Fiat, I mean Ram, Daimler, Lion, and whatever.

Amazon invested about $1.3 billion in Rivian for a 20% stake. In a deal announced with great fanfare, Rivian was supposed to build 100,000 vans for Amazon through 2030, to Amazon’s specs, and Rivian was supposed to start delivering them in 2021.

And then nothing happened, and in May 2022, there were reports of further delays because Rivian was suing a supplier over pricing issues or whatever. Beyond the prototypes for testing, there are still no vans.

However, Rivian is building and delivering high-dollar pickup trucks, and they’re out there, and I have seen a few of them already. But they’re not for Amazon.

Now there are reports that Rivian is planning layoffs that could reach 5% of its workforce, according to sources cited by Bloomberg. These are nonmanufacturing roles that will be eliminated as the company wants to trim its workforce after overstaffing.

Rivian’s shares [RIVN] have collapsed by 83% from their high in November 2021, and both Amazon and Ford have taken huge write-downs on the gains they’d booked following the Rivian IPO in November 2021 (data via YCharts):

Amazon also ordered “thousands” of electric Ram ProMaster vans, Stellantis said in January 2022, which are based on electric vans from Fiat, with some input from Amazon.

Amazon has also ordered 1,800 electric vans from Daimler for use in Europe. And it ordered electric three-wheelers from Mahindra for use in India.

And from Lion Electric. Amazon ordered up to 2,500 electric trucks from Lion Electric, an EV maker startup in Canada, hopefully for delivery in 2025 or whenever.

Lion Electric announced in November 2020 that it would go public via merger with a SPAC. Weeks after the announcement, the Amazon order was reported and hugely hyped, and the SPAC’s shares spiked to $35.25 by January 15, 2021. By the time the merger with the SPAC was approved and completed in May 2021, shares had already plunged by about half. And today, at $4.37, shares are down 88% from the hype-peak. And Amazon still hasn’t gotten any electric delivery trucks (data via YCharts):

Twisting arms of the legacy van makers.

Legacy automakers still face huge problems with their supply chains for ICE models where they’ve had well-established supply chains. Production was hit mostly by shortages of specific semiconductors. Now they’re trying to build new supply chains for EVs, which is even worse. There are long waiting lists for their passenger EVs. Electric cargo vans are not the top priority. And for Ford, which dominates the ICE cargo van business, electric cargo vans are just an afterthought.

So it makes sense for the delivery giants Amazon, Walmart, UPS, and FedEx to fire up some startups, though they have even bigger problems trying to set up complex supply chains, in addition to all the other problems they have, such as running out of cash. But that’s the only way the giants have to twist the arms of legacy van makers into finally producing EV vans.

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  194 comments for “Why Delivery Giants Walmart, Amazon, FedEx & UPS even Deal with Collapsing EV Startups: EV SPAC Canoo is the Latest

  1. unamused says:

    The first practical electric vehicles were built in the 19th century in the garages of hobbyists with no capital in their spare time – something our modern-day industrialists can’t manage to do with tons of money and squads of smart engineers.

    You’d think that the huge demand would have already found the market saturated with profitable suppliers. But no. Sometimes you have to diss the pros and just do it yourself. By the time they get around to doing it you could already have it done. You yourself couldn’t be this stupid if you worked at it.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • unamused says:

      Less hype and hoopla and more product please.

      Sheesh.

      • 2banana says:

        If you don’t got the steak, you sell the sizzle.

        As old as the industrial revolution.

        • Marcus Aurelius says:

          The Industrial Revolution created real products.

          As sleazy as we accuse Rockefeller, he produced oil.
          Carnegie produced Steel. More than all of England
          Vanderbilt built the best Rail Road of his time. Double tracked.
          Guggenheim produced Copper for the future EVs
          Douglas, Curtis, Boeing, McDonnel, Lockheed, built airplanes.
          FORD produced more cars, cheaper than anybody, for decades.

          BUT, when slime like Livermore, Joseph Kennedy, and other 1920’s “stock investors” started selling “growth stocks” (sizzle) then we began, as a nation, producing paper.

      • Seen it all before, Bob says:

        All hat and no cattle.

        • Dan Romig says:

          It seems like a slow game of Texas hold ’em.

          Everyone’s bluffing and raising, but no winning hand is being laid down on the table to take in all the chips. It is a huge pot to bring home, eh?

          It really should not be that difficult to design, engineer and build an EV cargo van for basic urban delivery duty. And, there is a large captive market, with cash-money ready to spend, waiting to buy these machines en masse.

          Wolf, as always, thank you for reporting the facts of this, sort of sad really, matter.

        • otishertz says:

          All beans no can.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Sorry OH,,, but it was, ”All Beans and NO BACON” for many of us for many decades, ”back in the day.”
          Remember those days when WE, in this case my good buds and beauties WE, had a choice of eating or going to the Family Dog, etc.
          Not too sure if any on here will get that,,, but the can of beans was far damn sure an easy choice when in early 20s…
          Now we like to eat at least somewhat regularly and somewhat deliciously, so the current crop of family dog type places will just have to weight it out, or wait it out, or, as is clearly the case, find new participants…

        • Old Ghost says:

          V V N “in this case my good buds and beauties WE, had a choice of eating or going to the Family Dog, etc.”

          Hmmmm……would that be the Dog & Suds hotdog chain? AKA “arf & barf”.

        • NBay says:

          Too many BIG guns making BIG money on fossil fuel, from drilling to refining to distribution to ethanol games to the whole chain of ICE suppliers themselves….including running gear…even brakes…plus ICE repair biz….

          ..they DO NOT want this EV shit to go anywhere, along with wind, solar, grid improvements, efficient houses….you name it.

          Conspiracy theories earned a well deserved bad name largely due to talk radio….

          BUT…..all’s fair in big stakes money games…..

          I spent a lot of time with the biggest guns on K street, including owned congress critters and other DC players…..and a lot of my family are still at it….I KNOW how the “game” works…..whether anyone here believes me or not.

        • NBay says:

          And it’s not just for burning. Our HUGE chemical industry uses a LOT of fossil fuel, and they like it as is whole lot too.

    • Cem says:

      There’s a very very large difference between what a modern manufacturer produces and someone in a garage does quality wise.

      • ron says:

        There were several electric cars commercially produced in the early 1900s. But they petered out in favor of the ICE. They needed delivery vans then, too. Of course, battery technology wasn’t as good then, so that probably contributed.

      • NBay says:

        There isn’t enough room for a lot of desks, and then one work bench and a some tools in the average sized garage. Probably has a big impact on garage built “quality”.
        Ever see a forever clothes dryer? We built 4 or 5, early 80’s.

    • Digger Dave says:

      Because the tail wags the dog. Manufacturers are going for the sexiest models first. It’s easy to drag your feet this way. The buying public wants electric vehicles that operate the same way as gassers – huge range, almost no down time to fuel up. And now all kinds of gizmos that have no effect on functionality. That’s a tall order. The Big 3 got their way – they wanted watered down regulations to protect profits. If CAFE rules were actually designed in a way to encourage smarter development we’d already have basic EVs that satisfy 90% of the needs out there. Instead they somehow encouraged larger gaz-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. Why shoot yourself in the foot? What’s the profit on a pickup truck these days? $20,000? Better to complain about high gas prices and do everything you can to kick the can down the road, I guess.

      • Old school says:

        You have to remember if an automaker is a public company it exists for it’s shareholders which means in practical terms to make the most money it can over next decade or so without risking going out of business.

        It’s up to policymakers to define the standards for the industry. If they get the policy wrong then car makers go out of business or need a bailout because they lose money and collapse.

        In the end the car company has to make a product people want to buy and company can make a sustainable profit in a cyclical business.

        Governments can give carrots and sticks to the manufacturers and consumer s to implement policy, but there’s only so much real wealth to for government to implement policy with which is kind of evident with current inflation.

        • NBay says:

          You are hopelessly lost in confused “ideal” concepts….I hope you wise up to how things really are some day, honest!

      • El Katz says:

        DD:

        You’re forgetting the reality of the R&D costs. In my old world, the R&D was amortized over the first two production years. During those two years, the vehicles were net losers. At some point during the third year, they began to turn a profit and, for the final two years +, they turned a handsome profit. That is, unless the product was still born and they cut production.

        That’s why there are no cheap EV vans. They’ll build the technology and experience selling $70K vehicles (that they’re still blowing their brains out on) in an attempt to get enough experience to bring the tech down scale to the main stream product lines. Keep in mind that it’s easier to recall and retrofit 50,000 units than it is to do the same for a million. IIRC, the first production EV’s and hydrogen vehicles were lease only in order to cut down on future warranty costs. Those vehicles were crushed, despite still having commercial value as the cost to support them to required standards was too high and the engineers learned what they needed to know by the end of the 36 month lease.

      • NBay says:

        YEP!

    • Helmut Beintner says:

      Organized Confusion and Bankrupt trying to pretend the they know what they doing. By 2035….Good luck.

      • Ashburn says:

        Could it be that America’s overpriced institutions of higher learning are turning out tons of financial engineers but few industrial engineers?

        The US has outsourced its manufacturing technology and expertise to Asia. Financialization of our economy has become the only game in town for the best and brightest among our young people. It will take more than a generation to rebuild that level of expertise, if and when our masters on Wall Street and in Washington ever decide to do so.

    • Tankster says:

      False analogy. Those electric vehicles were quite primitive. Would you drive one of them. Nothing is simple anymore. Supply chains out the wazoo, we don’t hardly make anything in the USA anymore.

      • John Stotes says:

        What? That is such a wildy spread myth. The US has the best industrial firms in the world, Nordson, Teledyne, Graco, Danaher, Fortive, Carlisle, Honeywell, CFM, Idex, Ametek, Rockwell, the list goes on and on. And US industrial production is at all time highs. Yes, China makes a lot of plastic crap with no value add, but do we really want to invest in dying industries like toy manufacturing?

        https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/INDPRO

        • Nate says:

          Yeah, the second largest manufacturer in the world is the USA, behind China. Behind us in third is Japan, which everyone thinks is a island full of just bitter retirees and young people sleeping in internet cafes.

          Did the USA lose share? Absolutely. Did growth stall? No question. Is the USA competitive in simple, labor intensive manufacturing? Probably not. But this idea that USA manufacturing disappeared in the 80s-90s is simply false.

          If we want to go get the USA’s share back, we’d probably have to open the borders and let in a deluge of immigrants. Something tells me that the China-phobes don’t want that. Chinese labor is cheap because they have a billion workers, institutional prejudice towards rural workers, and state-prohibition of organizing because the corrupt Chinese state is your union.

        • BrianC - PDX says:

          Ok I can’t let this slide… Danaher and Fortive.

          Those are the two most mismanaged financially driven corporations I have ever seen. If you want to see how a company should not be run, you should go study those two. I’m sure from the C-Suite level the view looks great. Down at the bottom where things get done, it’s nothing but mendacity, malevolence, and mediocrity.

          I have personal experience from watching those two up close for over a decade. Fortive, in particular, is an absolute train wreck. The delusion and incompetence of Jim Lico is… something to be seen.

          Both are financially driven and don’t know crap about innovation. Fortive has been removing talent and destroying any future it might have for years now.

          Just goes to show that when your jet engine flames out at 80,000 feet you can glide a long way on brand fumes before you hit the desert floor. That last millimeter is a bitch though.

    • dearieme says:

      It used to be that morning milk deliveries to the doorstep in Britain were delivered by electric vans, referred to as “milk floats”. Often they directly replaced the horse-and-cart, with no ice vehicle in between. Both the electric vehicle and Dobbin were well-suited to start/stop.

      Rose growers might have preferred a visit from Dobbin: a case of a positive economic externality.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Good one dear:
        Remember well when finishing delivering the 125+ or – morning papers on my route and then helping the milk delivery guy do his…
        Usually came with a pint or so of cream, or an extra qt of milk when it was an ”extra” for the guy,,,
        Similar to when I learned to go into the bakery and deliver the paper to the hand of the baker who then usually handed me a wonderful warm product coming out of his oven at that time…
        WE, in this case WE the PEONs who actually do ALL the ”real” work, need to figure out how to get rid of all the ”financialization” folks screwing US who do the work…
        NOT going to be easy,,, but certainly can be done as is clearly proven by past her and his story,,,

    • Old school says:

      I believe car makers are getting ready to take a hit as people got stupid with the free money and committed to car payments they could not afford.

      Saw some scary data last night about shady 100% plus financing on new vehicles and the spiking percentage of people past due on loans. Worst delinquency rate was Washington DC and lowest delinquency was Utah and N. Dakota. Says a lot about the character of the country.

    • Ervin says:

      In the last 18 months the cost of battery materials has increased by on average 3 to 4 times. This has destroyed the planned economics. The CEO of Ford said that now they are losing money on every Mustang Mach1 they sell.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Lots of other materials have spiked too. Many of them have come down since then. Lithium too has come down from the peak. In case you missed it, there was a HUGE spike in commodities prices nearly across the board that is now abating.

        • Nate says:

          Taleb has this great line that there are often gluts that are not followed by shortages, but there has hardly ever been a shortage that wasn’t followed by a glut.

          Humanity is pretty good at making stuff or digging it out the dirt, given enough incentives.

        • Ervin says:

          These numbers are from tradingeconomic.com and the WSJ. January 2021 lithium carbonate was about $6.20/lb , today is about $35.50/lb. Lithium carbonate did peak during March at about $37.00/lb.
          Yep the price is down from March but still 5X in 18 months. Go back and the price is still nearly up 10X.
          Let me repeat myself. The CEO of Ford Motor Company said recently that they are losing money on each Mustang Mach 1 and it’s because of the cost of the battery. His words not mine.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Commodities. We’ve been there before:

    • Marcus Aurelius says:

      Nothing is “wrong”.

      These corporations are stock deals. They are to make money in selling stock, not products.

      They are investment vehicles to get an IPO, sell the stock, get out and move on.

      There is NO pride in actually making a product. Waste of money. Too much time, etc. The product is the IPO.

      I would suggest a reliable, honest, electrical “genius” actually form a company for the SOLE purpose of producing that kind of car you are talking about. There has to be one person out there with dignity and desire to be the next (dignified) FORD for the EV world.

    • gametv says:

      Arrival has a total of 134,000 LOIs that will convert to orders once they enter production, which is happening in Q2 (soon). Only 20K of those are with UPS, the rest are from other large fleet owners (they have not opened up sales to SMB yet). So, the truth is that Arrival has LOIs from alot of the fleets that have announced deals with others. My guess is that Amazon has a Arrival deal, Walmart, Fedex, etc. But none of those deals are yet announced.

      Canoo is still a year away from potentially delivering on those orders. Arrival has an unique factory method and vehicle design that, if they can actually build it, can grow very rapidly (6 months to get a new factory running) and use minimal capex (50 million).

      So basically, if Arrival gets its production running this quarter as they hav reaffirmed multiple times, then they will convert LOIs to orders and will start to announce other customers that have signed deals with other companies. And that will undermine those other companies, because it will become apparent that the buyers are not committed to just one manufacturer and if there is a superior van, in terms of pricing and features, it will take a lion’s share of the market. Arrival has the superior product in many aspects (price, capacity, total cost of ownership, software) It is also about speed to market and who can build out the capacity the fastest.

      If Arrival gets their production running at projected speed, they make it much more difficult for the other competitors in this space. Those non-binding orders to Canoo might just evaporate.

      By the way, Hyundai will also be selling purpose-built commercial vehicles starting in 2025, with similar methods to Arrival. I see Arrival and Hyundai dominating the sales by that time. Canoo will be dead and buried. GM, Ford and others will struggle to address the commercial market, as their platforms are inflexible to change, cost more and deliver a product with higher TCO.

  2. COWG says:

    I dunno…

    Seems like you would have an initial flush of orders but then reducing over time…

    Would the continuing resolutions be enough to warrant a legacy investment…

    If it were me, I’d just buy Club Car, since they’ve been making EVs forever, invest in some modern crap, and tell them to make me some vans…

    • drifterprof says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

      But on second thought, the differences between a golf cart and a delivery van probably require a new blank sheet design, same as the legacy car manufacturers need to do.

      And I suspect that as in most longstanding successful businesses, there are probably a lot of tenured old fart engineers and supply chain managers at Club Car who lost their edge long ago, and no way are going to change their habits or innovate.

      A principle in the field of industrial psychology is that industrial institutions evolve to focus on more on preserving the internal status quo, rather than focus on delivering a good product. It’s probably true of many institutions (government, education, etc.).

      • CreditGB says:

        Drifter, Man did you hit the nail on the head!

        Spent 40 years in Corporate life, watching it go from product and service oriented decision making managers, to group think, and use of “consultants” for nearly every decision, both big and small. These corporate managers are like tents in hurricanes, useless unless told what to think and do. This is about as accurate and complete a summary as I’ve seen:

        “A principle in the field of industrial psychology is that industrial institutions evolve to focus on more on preserving the internal status quo, rather than focus on delivering a good product. It’s probably true of many institutions (government, education, etc.).”

        • Marcus Aurelius says:

          I believe this is why, Ayn Rand, in both “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”, has the business people all individually “invested” and tied to their particular company, Taggart Continental, Rearden Steel, Whyatt Oil…….D’Anconia Copper, Mulligan Bank. …… One person. One name. One company.

          Why? When ONE person is the founder, heart, and soul behind a company, then that person, and his intelligent children, run it for pride, dignity and quality. Money will come but it is not the purpose of the company.

          A Corporation is the same as Communism. Power, greed, control, domination and enslavement of the workers. No real owner? The Stock Holders own the means of production, as the people do under the Communist System, but that only means a group of privileged insiders really own it. The Politburo or Board of Directors. No difference.

        • NBay says:

          MA,

          That last paragraph is all that’s really needed. And a very good short and sweet insight, too.
          You left out people being forced into 401Ks, the mostly powerless “owners” of the means of production”as opposed to guaranteed corporate retirement plans, benefits, etc, (fast vanishing), which was just the work of financial lobby money on gov’t. They even tried Soc Security 401k’s. That would have really given Wolf something to analyze today, eh?

          BTW, I can think of absolutely no better use for EVs than city delivery, no we need those 40mph max ultra light four person (or SUV style) no frills EVs for 90% of city dwellers regular useage we used to have. Haven’t seen one for quite a while, crushed by major auto makers, I suspect.

          That “heart and soul, money will come, but is not the purpose” is getting into fairy tale land, not that it doesn’t happen. Wright Bros is a good example of mission first, I would guess, but don’t really know, never met them.

        • NBay says:

          Now we need….typo

          They would even work fine in sprawling suburb where I live, where people can get everywhere using 35-40 mph main streets and frontage roads. The ones I saw were built by small Bay Area companies (had one at JC when I was taking auto shop 10-13) and it even used lead acid batteries.

          Wish I remembered what class of BAR/DMV car they were and knew who apparently killed it. Weighed around 1000 lb or less. Other countries have them with ICE like Japan, India, and probably EV, too.
          THAT’S REAL ENERGY/AIR CONSERVATION!

    • ron says:

      They replace their vehicles periodically.

  3. MF says:

    What are the chances that legacy automaker bean counters know something we don’t about the ability to secure reliable supplies of lithium?

    • Harrold says:

      Lithium may not be used in future iterations of battery technology.

    • Yancey Ward says:

      Exactly. What in the world makes people think the legacy carmakers don’t know what they are doing and doing it for very valid reasons?

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Yancey Ward,

        The “valid reasons” they were blocking EV development in the past was to protect their ICE franchises in which they put huge investments. Their EV sales are cannibalizing their ICE sales, and they knew it, and they tried to block it. Tesla didn’t have that problem. The legacy automakers do.

        They didn’t want to invest in new plants, new supply chains, new product development, hire an entirely different set of engineers, etc. This switch is hugely expensive, and they knew it, and they tried to block the change from happening, and now that it’s happening anyway, they’re forced to play catch-up. Each of the US legacy automakers has now pledged 10s of billions of dollars in investment in EVs to get this moving, and it will come at the expense of their ICE sales. This is an ugly situation for them. They knew it. And they’re tried to avoid it. But customer demand (consumers and fleets) finally forced them into it anyway. EVs is where growth is, ICE vehicle sales are plunging.

        • Robert Hughes says:

          Think Kodak. Owned the film market. Had many patents on digital, even made an early camera. Too much entrenched stubbornness in the ranks to recognize where the world was headed and the investment they had in film. The rest is history. A story worth reading.

        • Ted T. says:

          Customer demand? Baloney. The Government has been doing everything it can to shove EV’s down our throats. The EPA has established ridiculous environmental/mileage standards to make cars more expensive. The result: Tiny engines with high compression, direct fuel injection, Turbo charging just to get a very small incremental increase in mileage. Meanwhile the national electrical grid needs an upgrade and there is no plan for a nationwide charging network and nothing is being done to ensure a supply of raw materials for batteries.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “The Government has been doing everything it can to shove EV’s down our throats.”

          Has the government shoved an EV down your throat yet? I didn’t think so.

          Demand is such that there are long waiting lists. Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are sold out for the year, and you cannot even order a 2022 anymore. Try a 2023 model. THAT is demand. No one is shoving these vehicles down anyone’s throat. People are clamoring to get them.

        • gametv says:

          There are two more major changes coming. First, the reinvention of the factory. Arrival and Hyundai both are getting rid of paint shops, metal stamping, assembly lines, etc. The new model for production is based on software that controls robotic systems that can be re-programmed for different models very rapidly. Second, is autonomous driving, which will destroy the market for privately owned vehicles. All the doubters in autonomous vehicles are luddites. It will happen because the economics of it are so massively powerful and the challenges can be solved with AI, vision processing and lidar (which is now becoming cheap).

          Put those two changes together and you have the future of the auto industry. A new factory model that is low capex, flexible and can churn out product model variants at much lower production volumes will destroy the slow-moving factory systems of the current companies. And autonomous networks will begin to get deployed by 2025 to 2027 at scale. This will be a massively fast change – like smartphones taking over the telecomm industry.

          Probably the limiting factor will be raw resources for batteries.

  4. Uber Driver says:

    Given the current interest in EVS I keep wondering why no one can compete with Tesla. It does justify the Tesla stock price to a point.

    Anyone know what the Tesla secret sauce recipe is?

    • Flea says:

      Government handout,taxpayer funded . Besides Texas grid can’t hardly keep electricity on now ,What. Joke

      • Anthony A. says:

        Wind is down yesterday and today. At 100+, and no wind for those big air powered generators, ERCOT is at it’s distribution limit.

        • Something to this. A hundred years ago they built Hoover dam, now Lake Mead is empty. You build wind farms, the wind stops blowing? If we build enough solar panels will we be living in the dark eventually?

        • Motorcycle Guy says:

          Ambrose Bierce,
          Love your comment.

        • NBay says:

          Me too!……a reality based lesson in cause and effect.

    • Goomee says:

      Tesla pickup truck with unbreakable windows?

    • Miller says:

      “Given the current interest in EVS I keep wondering why no one can compete with Tesla. ”

      Many companies ARE competing successfully with Tesla and even out-doing them, for example BYD recently became the world’s top EV maker, majorly out-selling TSLA this year–something very few predicted, leave alone this early. Tesla also lags in some markets, ex. in Europe VW outsells Tesla in the EV market with other automakers catching up, and other companies are nipping at Tesla’s heels in the US too. Ford and GM are prioritizing EV development, and Kia, Hyundai and Polestar are making inroads here too.

      “It does justify the Tesla stock price to a point.”

      lol that’s where this post went from questionable to flat ridiculous, looks like a stealthy TSLA fanboy post. I like Tesla and have ridden in a Model X and Model 3, it’s clearly a viable company and will have a share of the EV market. But no, Tesla does not have a justifiable stock price with a valuation more than all other auto companies and several major tech companies combined. Its valuation will settle consistent with the market share that it can realistically command, just like Cisco did from its own outrageous highs in the 1990’s tech bubble. And no, it’s not a “tech company”, it’s an auto company–all auto companies do heavy tech investment and development, that doesn’t put them in the same category as AMZN, GOOGL, BDNCE or SAP. Although there’s promise in battery improvements and self-driving, those claims have been way overhyped, and again other auto companies are at least as advanced or even beyond Tesla in their own R&D there.

      • Uber Driver says:

        “lol that’s where this post went from questionable to flat ridiculous, looks like a stealthy TSLA fanboy post. ”

        Lol that’s where this post went from questionable to flat ridiculous. I have never ridden in a TSLA and could not possibly afford one. I do see them on the road, and people do talk about them. Which is more than can be said about other car manufacturers.

        .

        • Miller says:

          Sorry if this came off as saying you were a Tesla fanboy but some parts of the post certainly sounded like it, and those posts are very annoying even to those of us who like Tesla cars because of all the mindless boosterism. The point is the original post made some pretty extreme assertions about Tesla being head and shoulders above other automakers in EV’s, and trying to justify its ridiculous stock price and P-to-E valuation where again, it’s worth more than all other car-makers (and battery makers, and most tech stocks) combined. That’s all demonstrable false. Again, Tesla isn’t even the top EV manufacturer anymore, BYD is out-selling it and TSLA is falling farther behind in many other markets as other carmakers grab more-and-more market share. Even in the US there’s stiff competition rising, Hyundai is grabbing a huge and rising share and this is even before the Big 3 in the US get fully geared and selling. Tesla is a viable car-maker with a real in demand product, they’ll be fine and stay solvent as a company, but no their outrageous stock price is not justified by any realistic assessment. It’s just another sign of the Everything Bubble we’re in and the massive blunders of recent Federal Reserve policy to fuel asset bubbles (esp in equities) like this.

        • Robert Hughes says:

          Rented a model 3 ++. Eugene, to Portland, to beach to florence to eugene. 300 miles over 3 days. Lots of gee whiz tech, some worked well, some less. AC system very poor blew, barely keep up and air direction and adjustment undesirable.

          Biggest surprise how often need to charge to keep above 50%. Did it at super charger stations still took 20 minutes and $ 10 to 15 dollars would have been cost. We were on owners plan so did not have to pay, do not know what his eventual cost was.

          Wife and I came away scratching head as to desirability. She was a fan girl before that, had ridden in several short rides, thought she wanted one. Afterword she was “no way”.

          I am sure other people have different feelings. Just give us an old SC 430 or GS 430.

        • Miller says:

          @Robert Hughes,
          That’s interesting to hear, I’ve only ridden in Teslas as rentals, carpools or with friends so not any kind of expert, but I have to admit you have a point about the A/C, one of my owner co-workers brought that up and we did have an issue keeping the vehicle cool in one case, though we were mostly driving in fall or winter so didn’t give too much thought to it. And we were going short distances so the charging issue didn’t come up as much though I had heard that too about at least some Tesla models. Now that I think on it, Kia, VW and Polestar all made a big deal about their range being an improvement on Tesla for lower cost, and apparently BMW and Mercedes are making huge waves about being faster charging without needing to do it as frequently. Not sure what the actual case is, but it may indeed be an issue if so many other EV makers are highlighting their apparent improvements there.

      • Jak Siemasz says:

        BYD sold more “new energy vehicles” than Tesla but Tesla still leads in BEV sales by a long shot. You need to educate yourself on the hybrid fallacy – worst of both worlds.

        • Miller says:

          That’s not what the reports are saying. BYD’s sales are clearly stated as being of fully fledged electric vehicles with battery storage and charging capability capable of driving over extended distances, nitpicking that is just arguing over semantics. I have trouble believing that the authors of these sales reports in the auto journals, who have their credibility on the line would mix up hybrids and EV’s. Otherwise Toyota would have dominated “EV sales” just from the Prius and other hybrids for years.

      • Isaac S. says:

        re “Many companies ARE competing successfully with Tesla and even out-doing them, for example BYD recently became the world’s top EV maker, majorly out-selling TSLA this year–something very few predicted, leave alone this early. ”

        not true. Factually incorrect as BYD sales include Hybrids, Tesla is EVs only.
        And it’s something like BYD 325,000 EVs to Teslas 556,000 EVS so BYD hasnt dethroned Tesla at all you’ll find, nor is it the global EV leader.

      • gametv says:

        What people dont realize is that the lack of BEV competition in the US is allowing Tesla to reap massive gross margin windfalls that will eventually plunge. They have improved efficiency of their cost on the vehicles and been able to push through price increases at full capacity.

        So the problem for Tesla with more competitors will be gross margin pressures.

        The next evolution in the transportation industry are a new type of factory and autonomous networks, and it is not clear that Tesla will lead in either of those areas.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Uber Driver,

      1. This whole article was about delivery vans, not sedans and SUVs. Tesla doesn’t make any vans.

      2. Tesla’s lunch is being eaten in Europe and China.

      3. In the US, automakers are having trouble producing enough EVs for now, but production volume is gradually coming up. They’re selling all they can make. Long waiting lists. Hyundai-Kia came out of nowhere this year in the US with lower-priced EVs. Huge demand. Still cannot make enough.

    • Ervin says:

      Selling CAFE credits to the legacy car companies for billions since they started selling Teslas.

  5. raxadian says:

    To be fair the weight problem in electric road vehicles has not really been solved. Yes a lot of progress has been made but for the next few years the only profitable way to move heavy cargo using electrica power is still gonna be with electric trains.

    How is the USA going with getting more of those anyway?

    And yes I know that electricity will get cheaper in the following years, but the main problem is the batteries for the vehicles and the lack of enough charge stations. Just the way you charge a Tesla won’t do for any electric heavy carho vehicle and besides time us money.

    I know truckers, even a hour loss is a cut in profit, so yeah America, start having more electric trains, or Europe will leave you behind when it comes to this. It doesn’t help that many European countries distances are laughable short compared to the ones in the USA.

    • 2banana says:

      1. Electric trains? Only in dense urban areas with overhead electric lines.

      2. Electricity to get cheaper? Nowhere is this happening and there is only doubling and tripling of rates predicted. And has already happened in Europe.

      • Anthony A. says:

        I just got my electric bill for June. It’s not getting cheaper. As a matter of fact, the “fuel” charge was 1/3 the bill. Highest June I ever had here in this house and I keep great records. And we are not running a carnival here with just the two of us old retired folks.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        2banana,

        “Only in dense urban areas with overhead electric lines.”

        Good lordy, you need to get out of the house a little and go traveling. This much BS is painful.

        Even the Trans-Siberian Railroad is electrified — passenger and cargo trains both, all the way. All highspeed rail lines are fully electrified. In China, the electrified high-speed railroads crisscross the entire country. Even before there was highspeed rail in China, main trunk lines were electrified.

        Nearly all major lines in Europe are electrified, highspeed or not, passenger and cargo trains, since the 1950s and 1960s. Same in Japan.

        • John Stotes says:

          The EU railroad networks are so over hyped, and North American’s network is so underappreciated. The US moves 18x more freight on their superior networks than Germany, Canada moves 3x more. Even Mexico moves 2x the freight of France. What makes more sense, moving heavy freight on railroads or light humans? I am not against train transportation, even if the economics are awful and countries with strong passenger networks still fly a ton, but everyone gets it wrong. North American has the better system, not the EU. China also has a decent freight network, but the U.S. still moves 3x the rail frieght on a per capita basis.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          John Stotes,

          Rail for human transportation makes a HUGE amount of sense with the distances in Europe. Going from Brussels to Paris in 90 minutes makes a huge amount of sense. Going from Brussels to London in about the same time makes a huge amount of sense.

          Same in Japan, for example from Tokyo to Osaka, with a Shinkansen, which run a bunch of times per hour, most of them full, center to center, on time to the minute. And comfortable and no hassles and super clean.

          But going from New York to Los Angeles by train, well, that’s too far, and flying is just a lot faster.

          European rail networks have long ago given priority to passenger transport, instead of freight. They’re designed that way. And they transport a HUGE number of PEOPLE. It’s an effortless way to get from city to city in Europe.

          Going from New York City to Washington DC by rail is faster than anything else, city center to city center, and it makes a huge amount of sense. There are several trains every hour. They’re mostly full. I took that train many times. It’s a million times more comfortable than flying, it’s faster than flying center to center, it’s a LOT faster than driving, and it’s relaxing and you can work while you go.

          In the US, the railroads are so screwed up that it’s faster and more reliable to haul a load across the country by truck than by rail.

          You need to take a train someday.

    • Sams says:

      Distrubutiona vans was the theme. Charging at the base overnight so the distributors do provide the charging infrastructure themself.

      Heavy trucks is a different game.

      • LGC says:

        electricity does not come out of a wall. And you’re talking 100’s of outlets, huge amounts of power. The electricity infrastructure alone for one warehouse would be 100’s of 1000’s of dollars PLUS what the electricity provider has to ramp up.

        or you know they could buy a 5000 gallon diesel tank and a 110v pump and get 250k miles out of a van.

        • Random guy 62 says:

          Meh. I think if you do the math, electric vans will soon make sense.

          We have been running a mix of electric fork lifts and propane forklifts for probably twenty years now. The electric ones work great. They charge overnight and run all day. And that’s on old lead acid technology. The charging infrastructure and electricity cost for them is a drop in the bucket compared to what the whole factory consumes in a day. We don’t even give it a second thought. Golf carts made the same shift years ago too. In the right application electric is a no brainer, and last mile delivery vans are a pretty good fit.

          My understanding is that we still have to generate and distribute energy to move a vehicle and it’s contents. The amount of energy lost to heat when going all electric is simply less in the long run for the whole system.

          People who want to focus on the added electrical wiring and generating capacity needed for EVs like to ignore all the cost of operating gas stations, fuel delivery trucks, refineries, pipelines, drilling rigs, etc. none of that stuff is free, or less of a hassle than running a few more wires and cranking up generating capacity a bit.

          Maintenance on internal combustion vehicles is really expensive for a fleet. It’s not as simple as adding fuel and running 250,000 miles.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Good one Rg10:
          While WE have been ”cranking the numbers” for a while, hoping to buy BEV,,,
          At this point in time, all the numbers ”suggest” it is still more cost effective/efficient to buy ”hybrid”
          Unfortunately, as we tried to buy ”the latest/most efficient” we could find, there are many ”issues formerly known as problems.”
          WE, in this case the family WE, will continue to ”try” and hope we can buy one of these ”modern” vehicles soon.
          Thanks for ALL commenting on here,,, and, as others say,, MANY thanks for the Wolfster’s Wonderful Work…

    • gametb says:

      I think many of the households that buy BEVS are two car families. We hardly drive our SUV anymore and drive the Tesla, but when we need more range, we can always dust off the SUV and take it out.

      Charging up at night and never stopping at a gas station is a wonderful feeling in these high gas price times.

      Over 3 years of ownership we have used supercharges on maybe 6 trips.

      A 240 volt outlet at home is essential, so the bigger issue is getting those in rental units.

  6. 2banana says:

    It’s almost like there is no money in EVs, either cars or vans, without massive government subsidies.

    Like it makes no economic sense.

    With every cargo EV start-up getting destroyed and the legacy car companies dragging their feet like a three year old going to the barber.

    • raxadian says:

      The real problems are electricity cost, that is getting cheaper; electrical batteries that are improving and electrical charge stations and countries are getting more of those.

      So like it or not, there is a reason moee and mre countries are investing in electrical vehicles.

      For heavy cargo however they really should invest in electrical trains.

    • james wordsworth says:

      It’s almost like there is no money in ICE cars without massive government subsidies.

      I think that is what you meant, right?

      If people had to pay the real price for gasoline (as in replacement cost and environmental damage) they would have been extinct a long time ago.

      • Wolfbay says:

        And if federal and state couldn’t add on those big fuel taxes we would need higher taxes or more printing in the case of the Feds.

      • gametv says:

        If we had a smart government, it would stop trying to give incentives for people to buy BEV cars, because the demand already outstrips the supply in the US. There is a study that shows a Tesla driven in a regio with electricity generated by coal has barely any impact on CO2, but a BEV driven in France where they generate electricity with nuclear has a significant impact.

        So we need the money to go to conversion of the electric grid away from coal to renewables.

        The other force multiplier will be autonomous networks (soon). These will all be BEV cars. Every vehicle will be shared, so it can replace 8-10 privately owned cars. That is when the flip to BEV can happen at rapid pace.

        Oil consumption will begin to really collapse in about 5-7 years from now, as autonomous networks get built out. The winners in the autonomous race will be the ones that can build out massive scale in densely populated cities the fastest. The cost per mile will be so much cheaper that many people will get rid of their privately owned cars permanently.

    • Peonia says:

      My problem is why is the government subsidizing the EVs with my tax money (or inflation)? I’m already subsidizing the entire gasoline production vertical, and still paying for gas out of pocket. Looking forward to the energy Armageddon soon!

  7. Ben Sargent says:

    I think this article is very reveling to get an understanding of the headline news of these spacs! And the rational behind the support by Walmart etc.

  8. Ben Sargent says:

    Moscow electric buses carried 200 million people – more than the population of the Russian Federation. The electric bus is an environmentally friendly form of urban transport. The transport has run more than 80 million kilometers without emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere.
    They have over 1000 in service since 2018

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Those are electric trolley buses (with “trolley poles”). We have those too in San Francisco. The technology has been around for 100+ years. Our trolley buses have a small battery so that they can drive for short distances without the wires, such as to get around an accident. These trolley buses are in lots of cities around the world, and many of those systems were built decades ago and still work. Just replace the buses every 50 years or so, with some new shiny buses.

      • DR DOOM says:

        Shiny new electrict bus with a wet bar. Hell yeah, Magic Bus, I can ride that way. I’ll buy a round for Wolf Streeters and Wolf can pick the route.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Hahaha, yes, the bus would be packed. They have those wet bars on the ferries across the Bay. I met my future favorite beer on one of them ;-]

    • Flea says:

      How will they charge there electric tanks and personnel carriers,hahaha

      • Ted T. says:

        Little known fact is that the military has had “portable” nuclear powered generators for many years. Had one on Guam years back.

  9. Sams says:

    Stelantis, Maxis and others have electric vans in different sizes for the distrubution market. They show up more and more in traffic here, so why not in the USA?

  10. Djreef says:

    Rivian should have vans in the wild by the end of the year. They can all buy vans from Rivian.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Rivian is in trouble. All they have made so far this year is around 1,500 vehicles out of 50,000 they said they would. No van is in sight as all they are producing is the pickup and the SUV.

      • MiTurn says:

        “Rivian is building and delivering high-dollar pickup trucks, and they’re out there, and I have seen a few of them already.”

        Me too — four in a week. One lives somewhere nearby as I see it occasionally, another was on the highway passing through (I presume), and two were being hauled on trailers.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Anthony A.,

        “All they have made so far this year is around 1,500 vehicles”

        That’s a lie.

        Rivian delivered 4,467 vehicles in Q2 after having delivered 1,227 vehicles in Q1. For a total of 5,694 in the first half.

        • LeClerc says:

          Rivian’s 14000 employees took six months to produce 5700 ugly trucks.

          Is it possible that they’re over-staffed?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          They just started manufacturing vehicles — and they’re tamping up fast from zero. Most of their employees are not in manufacturing. So the CEO thinks they may be overstaffed in their non-manufacturing divisions — design, software, marketing, sales, admin, facilities maintenance, whatever

        • Depth Charge says:

          I saw my first Rivian truck yesterday. It’s a nice looking pickup. That being said, it already had a massive dent in the side which was rather unfortunate for the owner.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I have the impression that they’re somewhat smaller than the new Ford/GM pickups. I have not seen them side-by-side. But that’s my impression. Did you get that impression too?

        • Jake B says:

          Wolf, saw one here in Annapolis, MD yesterday. I do get the impression they are smaller than the competition. Most of the people around here like the idea of a truck more than the actual benefits, so it should fit in perfectly!

    • LGC says:

      Rivian is the Dale Automotive for the 2020’s.

  11. polistra says:

    Urban delivery was the primary use of EVs 110 years ago, and it’s still the best use of EVs. Tesla is a distraction, not an advantage, because it pulls the other makers toward wrong uses of EVs.

  12. Rowen says:

    What’s needed is for all of these cargo/bus EVs to use a common battery platform and swapping stations.

  13. Brant Lee says:

    Skip EV and do drones. I thought that was the big deal coming a few years ago. Woo.

    All I know about delivery is that the 4 or 5 major outfits pound our little town (pop. 500) roads constantly back and forth all day. I see the same brand company trucks meet each other on the same street and wave, so there are some great logistics going on there.

    Seems we got bypassed on any infrastructure dough and now all the handy delivery vehicles are making pothole craters like on the moon. Lord forbid any extra road tax to be paid by dang corporation vans.

    • JWB says:

      Drones. That’s just we want: even more skyview and noise pollution. I only hope my semi-rural neighborhood that is full of huge, mature trees can block delivery drones from becoming a thing in it.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        don’t know about the ”legalities”,,, but in the location we were at in ”total ‘flyover”’ a while back, any drone flying over our ”hood” was shot down ASAP.
        Never heard anything from our local LE folks suggesting WE should do otherwise…
        To be clear, very rural ”hood” with most folks talking to each other frequently, AS IT SHOULD BE for every hood.
        Every neighbor well known by every other, etc…
        And many many very clear understandings, etc.

  14. Michael Engel says:

    That’s why Ford plunged in July to Aug 1987 high.

  15. larry callahan says:

    Arrival just announced a “restructuring” today involving up to 30% of its workforce-

    Arrival proposes business reorganisation
    JUL 12, 2022
    PDF VERSION
    LONDON, July 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Arrival (NASDAQ: ARVL), inventor of a unique new method of design and production of equitable electric vehicles (EVs) by local Microfactories, today confirmed that it has proposed a reorganisation of its business in response to the challenging economic environment as it focuses on its next major milestone – starting production of the Arrival Van in Q3 2022.

    Arrival has proposed plans that include a realignment of the organisation that would enable it to deliver business priorities until late 2023 primarily utilising the $500mn cash on hand. Arrival’s proposal includes a targeted 30% reduction in spend across the organisation and anticipates that it could potentially impact up to 30% of employees globally.

    Arrival continues to see a huge amount of interest in its products, and believes that its proposals are the right step at this time to ensure the long term success of the business and enable it to service this demand in the face of a unique economic environment that is seeing both new players and traditional OEMs facing supply chain issues, an ongoing pandemic, geopolitical tensions and rising inflation. Arrival believes it must address these challenges now as it starts production this year.

  16. Not Sure says:

    Reason 1: EVs don’t scale well into larger GVWs for carrying heavy loads and towing. Small passenger cars are in sort of a sweet spot for size-to-weight. Adding cargo weight kills range, and adding battery capacity adds weight and kills cargo volume at a greater rate than it adds range.

    Reason 2: Charging is a real challenge when you tend to have all of your vans out on delivery routes during business hours and then all back into the warehouse at the same time for charging. Having capacity for a few small EVs vs. having capacity for 20 or 40 large EVs simultaneously are 2 very different things. Many warehouses literally do not have electrical service that is sufficient to charge on a large scale and solar requires a huge amount of battery storage for nighttime charging. There’s also far less flexibility for things like last minute route changes, which happen constantly in logistics.

    Reason 3: Upfront cost. The big automakers know that it’s nearly impossible to fulfill their customer’s functionality requirements at their customer’s desired price points using current battery tech. Certain customers may put a few EV delivery vans out there for green virtue signaling, but are they really going to buy these EV trucks and vans in the numbers necessary to reach profitable economies of scale? Even after they figure out how many headaches and added costs are involved in scaling up their EV fleets?

    Just because some executives want to market their green values and some activists scream that we can switch to all-EVs overnight doesn’t change the reality that there are serious engineering hurdles that still need to be cleared to make EV trucks and vans actually make business sense. They *might* work in specific situations for small fleets within tight urban areas, but elsewhere they’re still just a gimmick at best.

    • MiTurn says:

      Cost wise, I think that EVs only make sense in those parts of the country with (for now) inexpensive electricity.

      Being green can cost a lot of green.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        MiTurn,

        It doesn’t really matter what you and what I think. What matters is what the big corporate cost cutters and operations people think, and they want EVs because they’re a LOT cheaper to operate, and they know it. They use a fraction of the energy of a gasoline/diesel vehicle. Read the 7th paragraph

        • John Stotes says:

          Where is your unit economics? I agree with MiTurn, just because Amazon/FedEx says they want EV vans, doesn’t mean they are willing to pay the price that will get the OEs good returns on their investment. There is a huge difference between saying you want somethings vs. how much you are willing pay for something. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but you certainly haven’t proved your theory that the OEs are holding back to protect ICE. People said the same thing 20 years ago, and it is clear now, we weren’t ready. We might not be ready now. The EV industry has lost tons of money even with boat loads of government kick backs. I assume they will eventually get to decent returns, but hard to know when we will get there, especially without government support, suppressed interest rates, and high oil prices.

          Remember the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” in 2006, I know who killed the electric car, an accountant that understood simple economics.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “Who Killed the Electric Car… an accountant that understood simple economics.”

          BS.

          I’ll just repeat what I replied to Yancey Ward:

          The “valid reasons” they were blocking EV development in the past was to protect their ICE franchises in which they put huge investments. Their EV sales are cannibalizing their ICE sales, and they knew it, and they tried to block it. Tesla didn’t have that problem. The legacy automakers do.

          They didn’t want to invest in new plants, new supply chains, new product development, hire an entirely different set of engineers, etc. This switch is hugely expensive, and they knew it, and they tried to block the change from happening, and now that it’s happening anyway, they’re forced to play catch-up. Each of the US legacy automakers has now pledged 10s of billions of dollars in investment in EVs to get this moving, and it will come at the expense of their ICE sales. This is an ugly situation for them. They knew it. And they’re tried to avoid it. But customer demand (consumers and fleets) finally forced them into it anyway. EVs is where growth is, ICE vehicle sales are plunging.

        • Root Farmer says:

          Wolf,

          It is not just delivery vehicles. There are tons of service vehicles on the road that also meet this design. We recently did an analysis of moving to an electric van. Cost was ~$8000 higher compared to a similar ICE vehicle.We were looking at the the Ford E-Transit so it looks like the $7500 subsidy will start phasing out this quarter as I haven’t seen it published but by estimated production numbers, they should have passed the 200,000 unit mark in Q2 2022.

          We run service vehicles that average less than 50 miles a day. At that usage at our current fuel price and electricity price, each vehicle saves $6500/year NOT including reduced repair costs.

          Vehicles need to be replaced all the time as they age out of service. For those in our situation, it is a no-brainer.

        • Not Sure says:

          Wolf, that is verifiably incorrect. According to Freightliner (Daimler) in their current eCascadia marketing material, “Depending on the region of deployment, grants and incentives may be available to offset the higher initial purchase price of an electric truck, pushing it closer to parity with a comparable diesel truck.” They go on to say that under basically perfect a conditions, an e-truck can be cost competitive. But not without big government incentives, and certainly not if other infrastructure changes and operational limitations are taken into account (permitting additional electrical capacity, installing chargers, limitations on routes and hours of operation, etc.). Head-to-head on a level playing field, EV trucks are still more expensive to operate than diesel because of the upfront cost. Depending on where fuel costs and battery technology go, that may change over time, but EV trucks are not honestly even close to cost parity with ICE yet. They’re attractive to executives for their ESG credit, not any kind of cost advantage.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Your whole logic is confused.

          Let’s look at something we can actually compare side-by-side: an F-250 Super Duty with a PowerStoke diesel weighs 6,483 pounds. The same truck same equipment with a V-8 gasoline engine weighs 5,677 pounds. In other words, the diesel is 14% heavier, and it’s a lot more expensive, and according to your calculus, it would reduce the payload of the truck.

          So why do people choose the much more expensive and much heavier diesel over gasoline? Because a diesel can do certain jobs better than a gasoline truck.

          Electric motors run circles around diesels in terms of torque, flat torque curve, towing, efficiency, operating costs, maintenance costs, repair costs, downtime, etc. So you are going to let trucking companies decide because it’s their dollars that are on the line, and you’re going to stay out of it.

          You can check the F-250 data I cited here: https://www.ford.com/trucks/super-duty/models/f250-lariat/

    • Flea says:

      And musk can send a rocket up,and land it upright,but still can’t make a electric car function,. Sounds fishy to me

      • Jak Siemasz says:

        My Tesla Model Y functions quite nicely, thank you. Best car I ever owned and I’ve owned cars for fifty years.

      • Miller says:

        Being fair I guess, the rocket tech is more than 60 years old. NASA and their Soviet and German equivalents had figured it out by the early 1960’s (Wernher von Braun’s early papers had the specs that NASA and their contractors used for the space shuttle, so even older than 60 years really), and Musk is just following in that tradition. Electric car tech, at least at scale isn’t as well established.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Not Sure,

      Nearly all of this is BS. Do some research. Check out Daimler heavy tucks among others. Why do you keep posting this copy-and-paste BS?

    • Lune says:

      Re reason 1. If anything electric motors are *better* for hauling heavy cargo. They have much higher torque than ICE engines. There’s a reason a Tesla can outgun a Ferrari. And also why massive trains in other countries run on electricity. Furthermore, these cargo vans are not really heavy haulers. They’re not hauling tons of bulk goods. Packages are generally not very dense. the extra weight of a van full of cardboard boxes which consist of 50% bubble wrap by volume is not the same as hauling a van full of concrete.

      Reason 2 is nonsense. Overnight there is generally a huge surplus of electricity compared to the day. For industrial and commercial users, they would be able to get huge discounts from the power companies compared to what they pay for peak power during the day.

      Regarding infrastructure within the warehouse, firstly, with the large conveyors and other machines turned off for the night, there’s plenty of power capacity. Charging 100 miles worth of range over 12 hours is not a big drain. But if they need more, it’s not hard to get additional power routed to you by the power company. They’re happy to run additional capacity to you because if it means you’ll be buying more electricity from them.

      • Not Sure says:

        Lune,

        EV drivetrains are extremely efficient compared to ICE. That’s why they can get away with batteries that have a much lower energy density than fossil fuels. 75 kWh of battery storage is equivalent to only about 2 gallons of gas, but it weighs about 1,000 pounds and takes up way more space than a fuel tank. Not a huge problem at small-sedan scale. But let’s scale-up an EV vs. ICE. Let’s say we make our vehicle bigger and it requires double the fuel load. Going from 75 to 150kWh of storage adds another 1,000 pounds, and it takes up a lot of space, and it’s very expensive. Doubling an equivalent ICE vehicle’s fuel capacity only adds perhaps 100 pounds, and it only requires a couple cubic feet of volume, and it costs almost nothing. We will also need to double our charging capacity if we want to “fill” that 150kWh battery in the same period of time, and our building’s electrical service can only support so much charging capacity. Keep scaling the vehicle up to a fleet of semi-trucks and it should be clear why EVs have a scaling problem.

        As to your comment on warehouse electrical infrastructure, that is not how the National Electrical Code works, and that is not how electrical installations are permitted. Your municipality does not care when or how much you use individual equipment. Electrical service is going to be designed and sized to meet loads presented by all permitted equipment at the same time with nameplate inrush factored in, and there is a 20% safety factor applied to that capacity. And you don’t get to just install however many chargers you want in a facility. You get to install chargers until you run out of service capacity, which is typically not many chargers. At that point, your energy provider may or may not have the local capacity to allow you to install additional meters and panels to accommodate more chargers. If they do, it’s going to be expensive (commonly well into the million$ per meter at an industrial scale). If they don’t, it’ll be prohibitively expensive. Factor that into the overall cost of EV truck operation, and the picture gets a lot less rosy. I do this stuff day in and day out for a living and let me be clear that it just isn’t that easy.

        I’d like to add that I’m not anti-EV. I think they’re super-cool and they can serve a great purpose in some scenarios. But it’s not intellectually honest to simply ignore glaring engineering issues just because I want a nifty silver bullet to solve all of humanity’s problems.

        • NBay says:

          Now analyze how my last month’s electric usage was 82 KWH. Seems high to me. Thanks for the expertise.

    • Seneca’s Cliff says:

      I was talking to an engineer from Daimler’s E-Cascadia team the other day while we both waited at the counter at Grainger on Swan Island. He was a little worried how well they would sell out of the gate since they cost 4 times as much as a Diesel Cascadia and require a minimum 400 amp 3 phase service to get a decent charge time. But he was a grumpy German guy so who knows.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        4x diesel is a stretch for a battery-electric truck. Fuel-cell truck maybe. The number that is out there for a battery-electric truck is 2x diesel. Truck pricing is notoriously difficult to estimate. Fleets work their deals, and you don’t really know what they pay.

        But ultimately, the metric that matters for a commercial fleet is cost per mile, including acquisition cost spread out over the life of the vehicle, fuel, maintenance, repairs, and downtime.

        • Tanstaafl says:

          I agree with the price tag. And the rest. Daimler Trucks just presented their latest version of the eActros, their heavy-duty-truck, with a GVRW of 27 tonnes. It’s designed for local distribution, with a range of 180-250 miles (300-400 kilometers). I suppose as the world’s largest producer of trucks they know a little bit about their market.
          So, if it’s worth its money, hauling companys will buy. If not, then not. There is no need for ideology when we have a tool that defines success or failure: The market.

    • Kenn says:

      I respectfully disagree with most of your reasons;
      Reason 1, Scaling; Most Amazon, UPS, etc. delivery vans, while they look large, are not much heavier than a full size pickup truck. The boxes they carry take a lot of volume, but are not that heavy. Additionally, most travel very few miles during their deliveries. I’m sure they will keep some ICE trucks for long, rural trips and extra heavy loads.
      Reason 2, Charging; Do the math, when you have all night to charge the vans, you can charge 50 vans using the same current it takes to charge 1 van in 20 minutes. Naturally, it takes 50 times the total power, but it is spread out over 15 to 16 hours.
      Reason 3 , Cost; Electric motors are cheaper than gas or diesel, and the cost of batteries is coming down. Maintenance is also much cheaper.

  17. Adam Dalgliesh says:

    If persuading”legacy “auto manufacturers to make electric vans is like pulling teeth, than getting them to lower prices on any of their products is like persuading them to submit to a root-canal surgery.

  18. SnotFroth says:

    I wonder what the weight of a delivery-van-sized battery plus the van cargo will do to local roads.

    I’m trying to find the weight of the EDV 700 and all I find is the GVWR of 9,350 and some speculation that the cargo capacity is about 2,000 lbs so presumably it weights about 7,000 lbs. In contrast a Sprinter van weighs about 5,000 lbs.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Uninformed BS turned into manipulative speculation. GVRW stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating = maximum amount of weight that your vehicle is allowed to weigh, INCLUDING CARGO. It’s the maximum weight rating of the vehicle.

      At sub-10,000 GVRW makes this a class 2 truck.

      EV articles really bring out the BS.

      • Random guy 62 says:

        I totally agree EV articles bring out some BS. This guy is onto something about added weight though.

        We just got a first glimpse at the new electric straight trucks coming from International this year. They are somewhere around 13,000 pounds where a diesel one is nine thousand. Also being released with a $240,000 price tag where sub-100k is normal for a diesel version. The specs are available online somewhere.

        Because of the added weight, upfitters are looking to build lighter bodies and accessories to help with the cargo capacity and range. This tidbit is from a chat with an engineer at one of the largest chassis upfitters in the country last week.

        Reducing weight and cost is likely a high priority for the chassis engineers, and something that can be overcome by improving battery tech over time, but the weight of EV trucks is a big increase from IC, and the upfront cost still outweighs the savings. Especially for the weak range of around 100 miles on these bigger trucks.

        Our customers (dealer) are already scratching their heads about how to sell these trucks as useful. The main reason Navistar is pushing hard for this truck to hit the market now is to meet a California electrification mandate. Customers don’t seem to care yet, but I agree they certainly will when the financials and specs make sense.

        I realize this is a little different than class 2 delivery vans, but concern over added EV weight in trucking is a real thing. Check out the weight of the new EV hummer and Chevy trucks, too. Yikes!

        Thanks for everything BTW. Love your work.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Random guy 62,

          “This guy is onto something about added weight though.”

          you’re even more drunk than “this guy” is. I said: “A sub-10,000 GVRW makes this a class 2 truck,” which means that fully loaded WITH CARGO, this van does NOT WEIGH MORE THAN 10,000 pounds!!! That is its maximum weight fully loaded, including cargo and battery. DUHHH!

          There is NO “added weight.” It’s a max of 10,000 pounds, including cargo and battery. Why is this so hard to get into your anti-EVer brain?

          I didn’t read the rest of our comment, I was maxxed out with your BS in the first line.

        • Wolfbay says:

          I agree with you. There would need to be a huge improvement in battery technology allowing much less weight and longer range for EV 18 wheelers to be practical for long hauls.

        • random guy 62 says:

          Just to be clear here… I am NOT anti-EV. I want one, and am seriously considering buying one in the next few years.

          Unfortunate that Wolf did not read the rest, because I am not making this up. The weight of empty electric trucks is significantly higher than that of their diesel or gasoline equivalents. It does not mean the whole vehicle will be heavier. It means it will move less cargo pound for pound.

          Manufacturers seem to be sheepish about it. We in the up-fit world are all trying to figure what, if anything, there is to do about it. That answer may be nothing… maybe just a change in weight regulations from the gov’t and we all move on. But they ARE heavier when empty, and that brings down the total cargo capacity of what can be hauled below legal maximums as they are set at the moment.

          This may not be a permanent thing. It is very likely new technology will help improve energy density of the batteries, and make them better. I am simply referring to the first crop of EVs for the transportation industry.

          The industry has spent decades gradually lightweighting to optimize fuel mileage. These new EV’s may be a step or two backward in that regard.

      • SnotFroth says:

        Whoa Wolf you need to read a little more carefully and take a chill pill before you fly off the handle like that.

        I said GVWR minus max cargo weight implies vehicle weight. I peppered my comment with words indicating the very lose nature of the speculation.

        And there’s nothing anti-EV about my comment. I’m thinking about long term, what happens when you add 2000 lbs intrinsically to the wheels of these ubiquitous vans that drive on small residential roads.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “what happens when you add 2000 lbs intrinsically to the wheels of these ubiquitous vans that drive on small residential roads.”

          BS. You still don’t get it. So I’ll try again, and that’s the last time:

          MAXIMUM WEIGHT FULLY LOADED INCL BATTERY AND CARGO IS LESS THAN 10,000 POUNDS. YOU DON’T “ADD 2,000 POUNDS,” THEY’RE ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE 10,000 POUNDS GVRW

          BTW, in your ICE van remove the engine, the transmission or transaxle, the fuel tank, the fuel injection system, the cooling system and radiator, the exhaust system (exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, muffler, and pipes); the starter, the emissions control system, the air intake system, etc. and see what you have left. A small electric motor and a big battery replay the whole ICE mess.

  19. Russ says:

    I dunno, but the last time I was in china (a few years ago due to Covid) the streets were flooded with EV delivery tricycles and small EV vans. In our lust for a big splash are we once again letting the Chinese develop the real thing up from the ground?

  20. Halibut says:

    A lot of comments about Rivian here. With all the issues, it still seems they can sell all they can produce. But, they can’t build enough, they’re expensive and most people can’t afford one.

    Well, what about this? Most men don’t want a cartoon faced truck. The darned thing is never going to work for “Walker, Texas Ranger”.

    Seems they can’t even supply the LIMITED audience. Ok, imagine they could. Where’s the next level of sales?

  21. Seneca’s Cliff says:

    Maybe the answer to this question is simple. Maybe there is not much profit to be made making delivery vans of any kind. Think about it, Grumman had the king daddy delivery van contract of all time making most of the delivery vans for the US Postal Service for 30 years and it never put them at the top of the market.

    • Sams says:

      In Europe at least the small vans was thin margin products. Many «makes», but actually only brandig as there where only four or five different product to choose from. Ford, VW, Stellantis and Renault.

  22. Michael Engel says:

    GOOGL is down because SF skater jumped on Waymo radar, surfed on
    on it’s windshield, painted the lasers.
    SF nerd streamer shutdown European trains.

    • SocalJimObjects says:

      Or they could be down because they are going to slow down their hiring, which is usually a prelude to laying people off.

    • NBay says:

      Damned kids…..cause as much confusion as a good EV article does.

  23. Anthony says:

    I hear all this about vans and EVs and how they will work and how they will save the planet and how electricity will be so much cheaper and then I realise that the door locks on any EV will still need a $4 dollar chip, of which there is still a massive shortage in order for any car/van to work.

    and then you realise without those $4 dollar chips, EV vans in any numbers are years down the pipeline…….. When we get over all the shortages(including electricity it seems in certain areas) then we will get the short range daily delivery vans, until then, enjoy the summer…

  24. BigBird says:

    Deutsche Post (German postal service and parent of DHL) couldn’t get any automakers to make electric vans for them, so they started making their own – called a StreetScooter – a few years ago. I believe they made a few thousand, brought them into service, and then tried to sell the production unit to a legacy manufacturer, since they really didn’t want to be in the vehicle assembly business. After a year of looking for a buyer/partner, they folded the operation at a loss. No idea if it failed due to bad execution or if they just didn’t want to make the necessary investments to keep it going. But I wonder if the experience scared off other companies from trying it themselves, too.

    • Miller says:

      Not sure if I’m thinking of the same company, but Afaik that operation is still going and StreetScooter if I’m recalling right from our last trip to Germany, was spun off from DeutschePost and now operating independently. And just like you say, they’re big on vans and other commercial vehicles. They’re based in one of the old medieval historic cities, Aachen I think, so ultimately it looks like DP didn’t fold the operation, they just spun it off as an independent company (profitable Afaik), maybe with a controlling interest.

  25. Breadbasket says:

    Electric is the way of the future, especially now that the big boys are putting billions into it, which is going to give TESLA some furious competition. One good thing TESLA is come out with an attractive car. Before them, the electric cars or hyprid cars like the PRIUS where not good looking. TESLA’s are nice looking and stylish. My friends all enjoy theirs. It is also painfully obvious we are far behind in rail tech. The rail systems in China, Japan, and Europe are way above us, atleast for commuter transportation.

    Also, more people now are WAH, so there is less need for long commutes, so an electric car is more viable. But electric cars, all though they are coming down and continue to do so with increased competion, are still too high for most people. We just need to get the price down, battery life up, and maybe and most importantly, develop a nationwide charging grid. I am seeing more and more, they just added 3 Tesla chargers near me, but it will need to be bigger, faster, and cheaper. But the moment is going that way now and is not going to stop.

    • Flea says:

      First put the military in charge of grid ,with some smart engineers . Problem solved for grid ,Uncle is too incompetent to do anything but play politics

    • Miller says:

      Interesting to hear that since I’ve ridden in Teslas owned by friends and carpoolers, and the comments on the aesthetics have been a bit meh, even by the owners. Not a big complaint, at least not compared to the ongoing frustrations with servicing and getting parts (may still be the #1 problem for Tesla currently), but it comes up. One of the C-suiters has a Tesla plus a Porsche and BMW (hurra for conspicuous consumption) and when he’s trying to show off, it’s always one of the latter two and not the Tesla. He feels like it’s too “utilitarian”. Too, Mercedes is coming out with a huge launch of EV’s in the US over the next few months and my understanding is there are already a lot of pre-orders (or at least preliminary purchase requests). Many are apparently former Tesla owners but even though they’re staying with EV, the luxury and sleekness component still seem to be higher with other car-makers and they’re switching brands. As far as a smooth ride I’ve liked most Teslas I’ve been in, except for one Model X which was terrible (jerking all around, awful for making turns) and another we got at a rental where the semi-autonomous driving (or more like lack of it) nearly got us all totaled.

  26. Michael says:

    That is very good theory regarding why Walmart pulled the trigger.

    Here are two concrete reasons:

    1. Kick out their primary competitor.
    Under the EV Fleet Purchase Agreement, the Company has agreed that, for the duration of the agreement, it will not enter into any agreement for any services involving the design, manufacture, consult, advice, lease, or sale of EVs to, or issue any equity, equity-linked or debt securities of any type, or enter into any agreement for the purpose of transferring control of the Company to, Amazon.com, Inc., its subsidiaries, or affiliates.

    2. Essentially receives those cars for free if the stock goes to $4 or above. Which 100% they will achieve if they can actually deliver the vehicles.
    In connection with the EV Fleet Purchase Agreement, the Company and Walmart entered into a Warrant Issuance Agreement (the “Warrant Agreement”) pursuant to which the Company issued to Walmart a warrant (the “Warrant”) to purchase an aggregate of 61,160,011 shares of fully paid and non-assessable shares of the Company’s common stock, par value of $0.0001 (the “Common Stock”), at an exercise price of $2.15 per share. The Warrant has a term of ten years and is vested immediately with respect to 15,290,003 shares of Common Stock.

    So there’s basically zero risk for Walmart. Either Canoo doesnt deliver and Walmart just goes with Brightdrop, or Canoo delivers and Walmart gets the vehicles for free (or probably makes a couple hundred million more likely as their stock will be way past $4 if they can deliver).

    • doug says:

      Thanks for the details. No company I am aware of drives harder deals than Walmart. They are brutal in price negotiations. And can be because, Volume.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Michael,

      Amazon also has an exclusive deal with Rivian on the vans.

      But it seems there is wriggle room in the exclusive apparently, because Rivian is taking orders from other companies, it says.

      Unless we read the actual contracts, we don’t really know what exactly it all entails.

  27. DanS86 says:

    Wonder how long EV Van battery last in Summer humid heat of 90 F with A/C on or 10 F Winter with heat on.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      That’s been well-established by now in the US (hot and cold) Norway (cold), China (hot and cold), and elsewhere. This isn’t new tech anymore.

  28. SocalJimObjects says:

    In the next crisis, the ICE guys, the EV guys will together board an electric bus to Washington and everyone will be bailed out.

    That’s the only certainty.

  29. Texas Bob says:

    If I am the CEO of Ford, I put my best employees and the majority of capital investment into the Lightning Pickup truck franchise. It will sell hundreds of thousands of vehicles for years — it is the future of the corporation. The Mustang EVs are close behind.
    The delivery van is a good franchise, but it is second tier–its only tens of thousands per year. A new van is going to have to wait until the Lightning and Mustang EV programs have stopped sucking cash and supply chain resources from the company.
    As painful as it is for Walmart and Amazon to recognize that they are not Ford’s most important customers, well, they aren’t. Take a number and wait your turn. And if they can get a delivery van from some startup, more power to them.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes, that’s the calculus they did. Pickups are Ford’s lifeblood. No pickup, no Ford. The threatened arrival of Tesla’s Cybertruck scared the bejesus out them. To heck with the vans.

      • Tom S. says:

        First of all, Ford has sold 3,000 electric transit vans YTD. The strategy has been to build EVs alongside ICE vehicles (in the same assembly plant) while designs are constantly changing and battery tech advances. Eventually they will be producing EVs separately in different plants. There’s the UAW to consider, as well.

        There’s a general feel about this thread that demand for ICE is cratering and there is nothing farther from the truth. ICE sales are down due to decreased production from supply chain problems. If demand was down prices wouldn’t have skyrocketed to over $45k per vehicle on average.

        I agree the legacy guys would like to ramp EV production faster but there are still design changes happening on the fly, engineering decisions being made, rapidly advancing tech, and all of this is slowing down the supply chain development process. It takes 7 years minimum for a legacy OEM to crank out a new vehicle. Tesla goes about that speed as well.

        It’s a long game and the people who win move slowly and deliberately, weathering the short term swings with informed decisions and minimum burning of capital. Some hot tech company with money to burn like Tesla making cell phones on wheels is not going to flip 100 years of progress on its head and take over the world of automotive. It’s too important for the working class to have affordable cars, and EVs are too scarce to be cheap.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “ICE sales are down due to decreased production from supply chain problems.”

          Yes, but EV sales are up despite supply chain problems.

          Even in a good year, total sales are where they were in 2000 at around 17.2 million vehicles. There has been no growth in this industry in over two decades. And EVERY SINGLE EV that is sold means an ICE vehicle is NOT sold. And because total sales even in a good year are at best stagnant, as EV sales grow, ICE sales decline. It’s not complicated. This is a zero-sum game. That’s why now all the automakers are jumping on EVs.

      • ru82 says:

        I am amazed by how many families in my suburban city drive the big quad cab pickups. I bet they actually use the pickup part only a couple of times a year when they buy a new couch or furniture.

        But these pickup trucks smooth ride is just as good as any car inho.

  30. Michael Engel says:

    1) US inflation hit four decades high. DX US dollar future failed to breach
    yesterday high. // DX weekly : if Fri close < last week high of 107.615
    this week bar is a trigger.
    2) DXY entered Jan 1974 fractal zone : 105.90 – 109.50. 109.50 is resistance.
    3) CL weekly crude oil futures dropped to Nov 5/7 2007 backbone : 90.13 – 98.64.
    4) If the Fed will raise rate by by 0.75 CL might breach it's BB.
    If Madam ECB raise the deposit rate DET 3M will rise from (-) 0.23 to zero, DXY will decline and EUR/USD will popup.

  31. Michael Engel says:

    WTIC should be good enough for both ICE and ev.
    WTIC between 100-130 is too high for ICE. Between 30-50 to low for ev. The optimal range might be 75 +/- 10.
    Banks and shadow banks charging higher rates will make higher profit in the next few years including on car loans…

  32. Jake Bodhi says:

    Not a word about Lordestown. Are they totally dead in the water?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Not a word about lots of EV makers, including Tesla. This article had a specific topic: elective vans.

    • random guy 62 says:

      Last industry publication I read about them is that they are in serious risk of going under, but Foxconn is throwing them a rope. They were front page news in the truck transport industry for their work truck platform just a year or two ago. Their reported launch plan was to tackle work vehicles first.

      Their design placed the motors in the hubs, instead of up in the body/frame isolated from a rough road by suspension. More efficient power transfer plus some other nice benefits, but bumps make it a harsh place to run a motor, and they were reportedly not living up to expectations.

      Personally, I think they’ll go the way of the dodo, but maybe they will surprise me. They briefly caught a lot of attention, but just don’t seem to have enough going for them.

  33. Russell says:

    When real demand is there, they will be built. Saying the Big 3 blocked them is unsubstantiated BS. Why would they intentionally miss out on this market share and risk being left behind? None of the established foreign manufacturers are in the game either, even those in largely green economies.

  34. ru82 says:

    I was looking at EVs the past several months. Specifically Santa Fe PHEV and The Toyota CRV PHEV. ICE versions are around 26k or 27k for both of these PHEV version starts about 41k or 42k if you can find one at MSRP. So more likely 45k. For me the PHEV is not worth the markup of $15k to 20k

    • Wolf Richter says:

      These are plug-in hybrids not EVs. They’re ICE and EV.

      Why not get a regular hybrid, not plug-in. Toyota’s hybrid tech is very good. They’re cheaper than plug-ins and work great. When I drive our Ford Fusion Hybrid, I get 50 mpg. My wife, who has a lead foot, still gets 40 mpg.

      Or buy a regular EV without ICE.

  35. Marcosa says:

    Perhaps the big corporations are placing orders they know won’t be fulfilled in order to just look Green.

  36. rick m says:

    It’s not surprising that the legacy car companies are dragging their feet. They’re the kids that government comforts and Band-Aids when they get a beesting. Their time horizon is dominated by political and financial constraints instead of the real world challenges of building what people want to drive in the next decade or so. The evolution is reminiscent of the change from sail to steam. Freight, especially less value-dense commodities, traveled under sail on the longer sea routes for decades after steam freighters were commonplace but still too inefficient to carry sufficient fuel to compete. Technology improved and sails went recreational. There’s going to be a mix of kinds of prime movers on wheeled platforms for a while. But eventually the Stanley Steamers got parked. Lead-acid battery charging isn’t linear in terms of current flow over the charging cycle, and every three phase smart multicharger (100amps@480v to charge three forklifts) I’ve seen has trouble analyzing older batteries accurately. Most buildings don’t have adequate electrical systems or service to charge a fleet of vans. I’ve wired a Schwan’s ice cream truck parking lot with twenty truck bays with receptacles that kept the popsicles cold at night, less amps than charging, and it was still a 120/208v 400amp three phase service. Most of the problems relate to the present state of the technology. Battery technology will improve, charging is in it’s infancy, onboard energy management is the silver lining that was never possible with ICE’s, and EVs will inevitably rule the applicable markets. Delivery vehicles and sports cars seem natural plugins. Ford ICE vans are dinosaurs. But even ram p/u drivers don’t mess with the 2007 E-250 Dentasaurus. Just feed it gas, oil, and coilpacks and ignore the little picture of Kentucky unless it starts flashing. I’ll be happy with any solution that gets rid of those cars that stop and start at every redlight. Sounds like a bunch of datsuns with bad gas.

  37. Tom s. says:

    Careening towards a labor crisis and a retiree crisis. Imagine trying to negotiate a labor contract with 9.1% as the CPI. Also, imagine the purchasing power of your savings shrinking by half in 7 short years as a retiree.

    Time to unload the balance sheet.

  38. billytrip says:

    A paraphrased comment “American automakers always do the right thing, after they have exhausted every other possibility”.

    The automakers attempts at forestalling EVs to protect their own margins is typical of their “cut off their own nose to spite their face” thinking.

    Back in the 70s in the wake of the oil shock, people wanted smaller cars. Detroit didn’t want to make smaller cars because there isn’t as much per-unit profit in them. So it grudgingly offered us crap like the Chevette (“shove it”) and the Pinto.

    The result? The Japanese were fine with making smaller cars that weren’t butt-ugly crap, and they promptly mopped the floor with the US automakers.

    Same shit, different decade.

    • Russell says:

      billytrip – Name one major foreign automaker that is manufacturing large-scale production of EVs. I’m just not seeing it.

      • rojogrande says:

        2021 EV units sold:

        Toyota 674,450
        BYD: 593,743
        Volkswagen Group: 452,900
        BMW: 328,316

    • NBay says:

      Vega, but yeah, you’re right….except Pinto mill was good, midget racers used them when they ran out of Nova 4-bangers.

  39. Ted T. says:

    “Rivian delivered 4,467 vehicles in Q2 after having delivered 1,227 vehicles in Q1. For a total of 5,694 in the first half.”

    Gee that’s impressive, 949 trucks a month. No wonder there are waiting lists. If the governments, state and federal offering, $4500. and $7500. respectively aren’t shoving EV’s down our throats, I guess you would call that a rich mans bribe. By the way, I’m not anti-EV, I’m a Libertarian.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They just started manufacturing. They’re ramping up from zero.

    • NBay says:

      Yeah, make government the same size as it was when the Constitution was written….or smaller if possible……another rugged individual…….so are the homeless, BTW. Have to be.

  40. Aussie Andy says:

    Cut the top off a Tesla, install a large cage 6 foot higher, there’s your EV delivery van; Regarding weight issues no different to having 4 Sumo wrestlers in the car.

  41. Softtail Rider says:

    A day late and a dollar short but here’s a few questions.

    1. What is the power loss with generating electricity? Versus ICE?

    2. What is the cost of a state’s license per year for an EV?

    3. Where does the money for roads come in?

    4. Where is the electric that will handle the increase in EV’s?

    5. What will it cost to bring the electric grid up to snuff?

    This brings back old memories. My first job was in a chemical plant. We used an electric golf cart to run to the cafeteria. It’s side panels and rear bed was well rusted, the motor worked great.

    Plant also generated it’s own power, I was a laborer there. Pushed a broom! The Engineer used two clocks to keep the electric cycles in tune with the local utility company. Cheap way of creating 60 cycles.

    One of the jobs I worked was making a chemical that was toxic. Still have a copy of the MSDS sheet. The easiest way to tell you were overloaded was to look at your skin or fingernails. Black people couldn’t work there till after 1964. Guess the Feds fixed that shortcoming.

    Another was using salt water and electrolysis to make sodium hydroxide and chlorine. At a later job I used the chlorine and got my lungs full after a leak. Can still feel the after effects today.

    Thanks Wolf for keeping everyone honest.

  42. Ehren says:

    Ford already has electric transits. You are misinformed Wolf.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      What I said is that they’re not blank-sheet-designed elective vans. They’re vans that were designed for ICE power trains, and Ford is sticking in electric components, which is not a good idea.

  43. Xaver says:

    I think the these EV purchase agreements are financially motivated only. “Buyers” get cheap stock or warrants they can sell later. So they are investors at the same time. A classic combo for shady deals. Agreements are written in a non binding form as you indicated. “Sellers” will not pruduce cars but receive very much needed fresh money and shareholders are diluted.

    Walmart did similar deals again and again with other products. In the case of Canoo they got cheap at the money 10y warrants. They are charlatans and many big corporations are the same.

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