As last-mile and short-range delivery companies increasingly turn to battery-electric vehicles a British manufacturer has been given the go-ahead for mass production of its entry into the segment.
Tevva announced late Tuesday it is the first British company to win European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) for a 7.5 ton battery-electric truck. That approval cleared the way for Tevva to ramp up its EV truck production and sales to high-volume levels for customers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
To win ECWVTA a sampling of vehicles are tested to measure whether they meet number of performance requirements ranging from tires to emissions and braking systems.
The company said it has already begun delivering its first vehicles customers that include Expect Distribution, Travis Perkins and Royal Mail. Tevva said it expects to sell up to 1,000 electric trucks in 2023.
Tevva’s high-volume entry into the electric delivery truck market faces stiff competition from the likes of Swedish tech company Einride and fellow British manufacturer Volta Trucks although Tevva founder and CEO Asher Bennett told Forbes.com in emailed responses to our questions “Tevva is the only current UK manufacturer to be mass producing electric trucks.”
In line with range requirements for last-mile and urban delivery vehicles Tevva’s 7.5 ton electric truck can travel up to 140 miles on a single charge from its 105 kWh battery. Later this year a 7.5 ton hydrogen-electric truck joins the lineup. Its hydrogen range-extender lengthens driving range to a maximum of 354 miles.
Since much of the medium-duty truck segment requires longer range capabilities, their customers are “excited” about the prospect of Tevva’s hydrogen truck and hydrogen as a back-up fuel to lithium-ion batteries, according to Bennett. They will also produce a 19 ton hydrogen-electric truck starting in 2024.
Tevva’s latest move is designed to address what the company considers a “huge appetite among fleet operators for electric trucks, as the opportunity to reduce emissions makes good business sense.”
“We are on a mission to make sustainable trucks accessible at scale and believe our technology will empower the transport sector and the governments of Europe to meet their net-zero goals,” said Bennett in a statement. “By embracing both hydrogen and electric fuel sources, we can rethink the energy mix in transport, reduce strain on our electricity grid and accelerate electric truck adoption.”
While Tevva now has the approval to mass produce its electric truck, the company is not new to the segment. Focusing initially on hydrogen as a supplement to battery power the company has had trucks on UK roads since 2016, including 15 range-extended electric trucks operated by UPS in Southampton and Birmingham since 2019.
Tevva is now working with energy partners to deliver low-carbon hydrogen to their customers’ depots, according to Bennett who noted to Forbes.com, “As an additional energy vector, hydrogen has the ability to lessen the demand on the existing grid infrastructure, further supporting the roll-out of (dual-energy) electric trucks.”
At this point Tevva is focusing on the UK and the rest of Europe for the remainder of this year, but is “looking to other global markets including North America after that” Bennett said. But while Tevva may eventually sell its electric trucks on this continent, the company has no plans to build them here.