New zero emission box truck could be faster, cleaner solution that changes delivery game

The first trucks should be on the road in March of next year.

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Friday, December 2, 2022
New zero emission box truck could change delivery-vehicle world
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A Downey-based company is poised to make a big impact in the EV space early next year when they begin production of the iEV Class five, an all-electric box truck capable of carrying 8,000 pounds of cargo.

The California Air Resources Board has proposed all new box trucks, delivery vans and freight trucks that travel short distances be zero emissions by 2024.

It's an ambitious goal given that 85% of truck traffic in Southern California is that final mile of commerce and frequently uses diesel-burning cargo box trucks.

"You can't get the goods to the doorstep without the cargo trucks, and so you absolutely cannot do without them, they're indispensable, so to the extent that we clean those up? It's a big piece of the puzzle," explained Kome Ajise, the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments.

A Downey-based company is poised to make a big impact in that space early next year when they begin production of the iEV Class five, an all-electric box truck capable of carrying 8,000 pounds of cargo.

"I think we found a niche that nobody's really looking at and the niche is last-mile delivery for a little bit bigger truck than vans," said Martin Kruszelnicki, Chief Technology Officer for iEV.

What makes the iEV box truck stand out is that most zero emission cargo vehicles are converted trucks or heavy duty equipment.

The polluting diesel engine is removed and replaced with zero emission options. iEV builds its electric cargo truck from the ground up. Kruszelnicki explains why that is important.

"Engineering itself is very important because, for example, weight distribution of heavy batteries ... it all has to work with the rest of the vehicle," he said. "You cannot just remove something and put something else in the vehicle without doing proper engineering, and proper engineering actually requires to redo the whole thing and make electric from the start."

Climbing a steep hill can be difficult for a diesel truck but for the iEV with maximum torque at very RPMs, Signal Hill in Long Beach is a breeze.

iEV began work on building electric trucks seven years ago, but the company was founded to repair electric vehicles knowing that need would grow with the industry, but repairing electric vehicles is what they believe prepared them to build a better electric cargo truck.

One capable of 130 miles per charge.

"We actually learned how things break, and then based on the findings, we said we can do improvements so things will not break," said Kruszelnicki. "The best way is to take things apart and see how they're made and then do improvements."

The target is 1,000 cargo trucks by the end of 2023 and build on a production line in Downey at a converted research and development warehouse.

The first trucks should be on the road in March of next year.