Brisbane-based company signs MOU with electric vehicle manufacturer

Australian Brisbane based company e-Motion Concepts (eMC) has signed a MOU with Rap Intelligent Vehicle Company, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer.
As part of this agreement, eMC will become the exclusive importer, distributor and service agent for the current two vehicle models which will be used for the last-mile in urban environments.
Both RAP vehicles will be fully electric three-wheel mopeds for the transport of goods in urban environments. eMC welcomes the addition of the two RAP vehicles to its expanding portfolio of Urban Transport Solutions for goods and people.
“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with RAP-SEV. The two vehicles are novel products that provide a solution to the ever-growing challenges urban transport and deliveries have to address, whilst being innovative, efficient, electric and safe and packed with features, such as GPS tracking and remote fleet management,” Wolfgang Roffmann, founder and CTO of eMC said.
“Australia is a very promising market, we will work together with e-Motion Concepts to support their strategy to introduce the vehicles across Australia. Our vehicles have been designed to meet strict European compliance standards and our factory is equipped to support large volumes of production with paramount focus on quality control and after sales service,” Peter Wang, Chief Executive Officer of RAP-SEV said.
The vehicles will be first revealed at the upcoming Electric Vehicle Expo in Noosa, Sunshine Coast on 22 June 2019.
Mr. Roffmann further explains “These vehicles are perfectly suited to urban transport solutions. Known as the ‘first and last mile’, the RAP vehicles are smart electric vehicles designed to have a low environmental impact and a smaller footprint than traditional petrol vehicles, making transport movement more efficient, and also less impactful on the city environment”
eMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Harry Proskefalas says. “Our strategy has a strong emphasis on aligning with commercial operators including local and national courier providers, food and goods delivery, universities and local governments in delivering long-term sustainable solutions” he continued to state that “The future of logistics and transport is, high efficiency and clean energy with smart technology, and these RAP vehicles provide the solutions”
The unique RAP vehicles have been specifically designed for last mile delivery tasks in urban environments. Powered by high quality motors and fueled by Lithium batteries, a range of up to 110km per charge and a top speed of 50 km/h together with a width of 1 and 0.8m respectively they are perfect for inner city last mile deliveries.
The vehicles are also packed with features usually only found in cars, such as LED instrument screen and reversing camera and reversing radar and Bluetooth connectivity. The CT-Cargo (Bange) and the CT-Kube (OAK) are the first vehicles of this kind with a T-Box, allowing the vehicle to be remotely monitored, including GPS, battery status and health with a smart app.
RAP-SEV vehicles are currently being homologated and expected to be available in third quarter of 2019 in Australia.
 
 

DHL and Ford to develop new electric drive vehicle with hydrogen technology

DHL Express, Ford and electric vehicle maker StreetScooter have announced their collaboration on a new electric delivery vehicle.
The new “H2 Panel Van” will become the first 4.25 tonne electric vehicle with an added fuel cell, which will provide additional power and enable a range up to 500 kilometres.

In a first step, DHL Express has ordered 100 of the fuel cell vehicles, with delivery expected from 2020 through 2021.

For Markus Reckling, CEO DHL Express Germany, the new van fits in to the Group’s larger environmental goals. “With the H2 Panel Van, DHL Express becomes the first express provider to use a larger number of electric vehicles with fuel cells for last-mile logistics. This underscores our aspiration to be not only the fastest and most reliable provider on the market, but also the most climate friendly,” he says.

“We firmly believe that fuel cells will play an increasing role in electric-powered transport, since they can give battery electric vehicles the kind of range that is so important for so many customers,” says Schmitt. “With the Panel Van, StreetScooter begins yet another chapter in its proud history of innovation and enters into a new growth phase,” Fabian Schmitt, Chief Technical Officer at StreetScooter GmbH said.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of its National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II).

New truck design on the horizon: just add wheels

Prof. Amir Khajepour stands next to a vehicle containing his new wheel unit.

Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialised purposes using a sophisticated wheel unit developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
The self-contained unit combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension, steering and a control system in a single module designed to be bolted to any vehicle frame.
It would free manufacturers from making huge investments to develop those components from scratch and enable the economical production of specialised vehicles in even small quantities.
“The idea is modularity and plug-and-play control capability,” said Amir Khajepour, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at Waterloo. “Our wheel unit, in a sense, is a full vehicle with only one wheel. All that’s missing is a body.”
Automotive researchers first applied the concept to electric, two-seater urban cars, which promise to ease congestion and reduce pollution, but make up only a tiny fraction of sales because of high prices, space limitations and safety concerns.
Mass-produced wheel units would significantly reduce production costs whilst also creating space for passengers that would otherwise be devoted to mechanical components such as steering columns.

To improve the stability of the tall, narrow cars, researchers also designed and prototyped the units – which weigh about 40 kilograms and have about 25 horsepower – to enable active wheel cambering, or tilting.
“Companies will be able to produce a smaller car that is cheaper, too,” said Mr Khajepour, director of the Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Lab. “Right now, we are not there. You have to pay more to get a smaller car, to get less.”
The next step in the research involves scaling up the wheel unit, technically called a corner module, for large utility and commercial vehicles.
That would pave the way for more cost-effective production of low-volume, specialised vehicles with customised bodies in fields such as rescue operations.
“It’s an economy of scale problem,” Mr Khajepour said. “Corner modules would allow us, without enormous development costs, to make vehicles that are specific for each application, for each function, by concentrating only on the design of the body and the user interface.”
A paper on the research, Development of a Novel Integrated Corner Module for Narrow Urban Vehicles, was co-authored by Khajepour, former master’s student Mohammad-Amin Rajaie and post-doctoral fellows Alireza Pazooki and Amir Soltani. It first appeared online in Journal of Automobile Engineering in January 2018 and in print on February 1, 2019.
 

Sea electric IKEA electric truck

IKEA deliveries to be all electric by 2025

All delivery and assembly vehicles at IKEA are to be electric by 2025 as part of the ambitious IKEA People and Planet Positive Strategy.
IKEA Australia has announced a commitment to use only electric vehicles for all of its operations and services by 2025, with the roll out starting immediately. In partnership with transport service providers, the roll out will see electric vehicles (EV) used for home deliveries and assembly services with a vision to create a better everyday life for many people.
IKEA will be the first home furnishing company in Australia to have EV last-mile deliveries and assembly services, emphasising its commitment to lower its carbon footprint and to be an industry leader in helping people and planet. The announcement is part of the business’s goal to work with local partners and customers to be Circular and Climate Positive.
Ingka Group is a member of The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative for accelerating the global shift to electric vehicles, and as part of its global EV strategy, by 2020 one quarter of all customer delivery vehicles will be electric, with the transition to electric vehicles complete by 2025. IKEA China has already achieved 100% EV deliveries in Shanghai.
In Australia, there are currently seven IKEA EV on the road, which are owned and operated by its service providers based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Six of the EV fleet are currently responsible for last mile delivery.
A trial of the first of these EV, conducted since April 2018 across IKEA stores in Victoria, has seen a total of 3,500 deliveries to customers. IKEA aims to reach a 5% EV roll out in conjunction with its partners in FY19, 10% in FY20 and 100% in FY25. Based on the manufacturers’ specifications, one truck is estimated to save 36.3 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.
IKEA Australia country manager Jan Gardberg said: “At IKEA we want to drive positive change. That’s why we are committed to achieving zero emissions from delivery vehicles and ensuring 100% of our fleet will be electric vehicles.
“This is just one of the many initiatives and ambitions we have in place as part of our 2030 People and Planet Positive Strategy. Our end goal is to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and while IKEA is a large global organisation, we can’t do this alone. We’re excited to be partnering with many like-minded organisations in Australia and around the globe to help us create impact and drive positive change.”
The move has been welcomed by The Climate Group. Head of EV100 at The Climate Group Sandra Roling said: “As a member of our EV100 initiative, IKEA is leading the way in making the switch to electric transport. It is great to see the implementation of their global commitment to drive change around the world.
“Global consumer brands like IKEA have a crucial opportunity to inspire faster action on electric transport, while showing their customers the wider societal benefits it brings.
“We want to see many more companies in Australia follow IKEA’s lead.”
The EV strategy is part of IKEA’s wider Global People and Planet Positive Strategy. The strategy sets the direction for all IKEA franchisees and covers three focus areas:

  1. Healthy & Sustainable living – inspiring and enabling more than 1 billion people to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet.
  2. Circular & Climate Positive – transforming into a circular business and becoming climate positive by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits, reducing the climate footprint of IKEA products and operations in absolute terms.
  3. Fair and Equal – creating positive social impact for everyone across the IKEA value chain and in all areas of the IKEA business.

In addition to the EV vehicle rollout, the IKEA Global People and Planet Positive Strategy includes commitments to:

  • Removing all single-use plastic products from the IKEA range globally and from customer and co-worker restaurants in stores by 2020
  • Designing all IKEA products with new ‘circular economy’ principles, with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials
  • Offering services that make it easier for people to bring home, care for and pass on products
  • Increasing the proportion of plant-based choices in the IKEA food offer, such as the veggie hot dog launching globally later this year
  • Becoming climate positive and reducing the total IKEA climate footprint by an average of 70% per product by working together with home furnishing suppliers across their factory operations
  • Achieving zero emission home deliveries by 2025
  • Expanding the offer of affordable home solar solutions from five IKEA markets to 29 IKEA markets by 2025.

Australia Post to operate largest electric vehicle fleet

A new order for an additional 1,000 three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles (eDV) by Australia Post is set to make it the nation’s largest electric vehicle fleet operator.
Australia Post group chief operating officer Bob Black said the 1,000 eDV boost its existing fleet of electric postie vehicles – including electric pushbikes – and creates a range of benefits for posties, customers and the environment.
“We are proud to soon be operating Australia’s largest fleet of electric vehicles, and hope this will set the standard across Australia,” Mr Black said.
“With parcel volumes growing – on average, close to 10 per cent each year for the last three years – and letter volumes declining, we’re always looking for ways to ensure our posties continue to play an important and sustainable role in the community.
“These vehicles offer additional carrying capacity, so our posties can deliver more parcels than ever before directly to the customer’s door – and can perform additional functions, such as collecting mail from street posting boxes.”
Along with delivery benefits, Mr Black said the electric vehicles also offer added safety and environmental protections.
“The eDV are safer than the traditional motorcycle. They are easier to see on the road, more stable, have increased rider protection and lower on-road speeds, all of which reduce a postie’s exposure to incidents and serious accidents.
“We started trialling eDV in 2017 and we’ve since deployed them in all states. We have worked closely with our posties to make improvements along the way.
“Our posties love the eDV because they demonstrate our commitment to providing safer and more sustainable employment into the future, given consumers are sending fewer letters and relying more and more on their postie to deliver their parcels.
“They will also help us achieve our commitment of reducing our carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.”
Deployment of the additional 1,000 vehicles is expected to start from June across all states.
Along with the additional 1,000 eDV Australia Post will also roll out an additional 4,000 electric pushbikes, bringing its total to 5,980 over the next three years.
 

ALC launches Electric Vehicles Working Group

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has formed an Electric Vehicles Working Group to consider the full impact that this rapidly-evolving transport will have on the movement of freight in the years ahead.
The working group’s initial membership will include representatives from Linfox, Woolworths, DHL Australia, Australia Post and a number of other ALC member companies.
“It is important to recognise that electric vehicles will have an enormous bearing on the future shape of Australia’s freight logistics industry,” said ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff.
“This makes it vital for policy-makers to focus on ensuring Australia has the right infrastructure and regulatory framework in place to permit the heavy vehicles of the future to continue delivering our mail, groceries, medicines, business supplies and online purchases every day.
“The formation of this Electric Vehicles Working Group is part of ALC’s commitment as an industry leader to ensure the continuing efficiency and safety of this industry, as Australia begins the shift from internal combustion engines to newer technologies.
“A recent study completed by Energia on behalf of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation anticipates that by 2030, up to 50% of new cars sold will be electric vehicles.
“There is every reason to believe that similar changes will also occur in the heavy vehicle industry – and we need to be preparing for that change now,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“The ALC Electric Vehicles Working Group will promote the financial, social and environmental benefits of electric vehicles to industry and governments.
“The Working Group will also be charged with developing policies that promote greater manufacture and uptake of electric heavy vehicles in Australia, in the interests of greater national supply chain efficiency and safety,” he concluded.
 

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