LAS VEGAS — CES isn’t an official auto present.
Still, the annual expertise showcase “has become such an important show for the automotive industry” that it is smart for startups comparable to electrical truck producer Lordstown Motors to pitch their merchandise right here, stated Edward Hightower, the corporate’s CEO.
Lordstown introduced its debut truck, the fleet-focused Endurance pickup, to CES this week.
Harbinger Motors, one other business electrical car startup, got here to CES with a car prototype based mostly on an electrical chassis that underpins medium-duty automobiles comparable to supply vans and RVs.
Commercial fleet automobiles present a big alternative to transform inside combustion miles to electrical miles as a result of they spend a lot time on the street in contrast with passenger automobiles, Hightower stated.
Commercial automobiles additionally usually drive repeatable routes that may be tailor-made to an electrical car’s vary, and so they typically return to a central depot the place they are often simply charged.
“It’s an important demonstration of our mission, this drive towards electrification,” Hightower stated.
Lordstown lately began deliveries of the Endurance and was named a finalist within the truck class for the 2023 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. The firm has stated its preliminary manufacturing batch consists of 500 vans, although it didn’t disclose the variety of its first deliveries or identify its first prospects.
Electrification has been a key theme this week at CES. A three way partnership by Sony and Honda unveiled its Afeela EV prototype. Ram will unveil its first electrical pickup. Elsewhere, corporations are displaying new EV charging expertise.
Lordstown and Harbinger are “two disrupters, and the commercial electric space is kind of ripe with disrupters right now, but their approaches are a little bit different than others — especially Lordstown,” stated James Martin, affiliate director, consulting providers, S&P Global Mobility.
Martin stated Lordstown’s technique of providing solely a business pickup is “a completely different approach.” Competitors are focusing on each the patron and business markets.
“We have to say that they do have some edge of success there because they’ve got a vehicle on the road,” he stated. “CES probably is a really good place for them to tell their story.”
Martin stated will probably be fascinating to see how the electrical business car phase evolves over the following three to 4 years.
John Harris, CEO of Harbinger Motors, stated CES is an opportunity to attach with prospects and suppliers and permit them to drive its car. This is the primary drive occasion for Harbinger, Harris stated.
“Getting something like that in a place that’s convenient for a lot of people is why CES is important for us,” he stated.
Harbinger has centered initially on its stripped chassis, which might begin manufacturing in 2024. It plans to comply with with a cab chassis, probably in late 2025, Harris stated. The firm will focus its efforts on its electrical chassis platform, whereas specialised upfitters construct the car physique.
Harris stated Harbinger has a “couple dozen” business prospects, together with upfitters, fleets and distributors. The firm counts prospects as those who have put down a nonrefundable deposit.
Harbinger has centered on medium-duty automobiles as a result of they log loads of miles, however the phase has been slower to transition to EVs, Harris stated.
“These are vehicles that are just getting run to death with the amount of constant usage that they have, so this is really just the worst segment to have left behind on electrification,” he stated.
Laura Harris contributed to this report.