With last-mile and short-distance delivery companies increasingly embracing battery-electric vehicles, a British manufacturer has been given the green light to mass-produce its entry into the segment.
Tevva announced late Tuesday that it is the first UK company to receive EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) for a 7.5 tonne battery-electric truck. This approval paved the way for Tevva to ramp up production and sales of electric vehicles to high volume levels for customers in the UK and other parts of Europe.
To win ECWVTA, a sample of vehicles are tested to measure whether they meet a range of performance requirements ranging from tires to emissions to braking systems.
The company said it has already started delivering to its first vehicle customers, including Expect Distribution, Travis Perkins and Royal Mail. Tevva expects to sell up to 1,000 electric trucks in 2023.
Tevva’s large-scale entry into the electric van market faces stiff competition from Swedish tech company Einride and British manufacturer Volta Trucks, although Tevva founder and CEO Asher Bennett told Forbes.com in response to our questions via email Mail said: “Tevva is the only current UK manufacturer looking to mass-produce electric trucks.”
In line with range requirements for last-mile and urban delivery vehicles, Tevva’s 7.5-tonne electric truck can travel up to 140 miles on a single charge from its 105 kWh battery. A 7.5-ton hydrogen-electric truck will be added later this year. Its hydrogen range extender extends the range to a maximum of 354 miles.
With much of the medium-duty truck segment requiring longer ranges, Bennett says their customers are “excited” at the prospect of Tevva’s hydrogen trucks and hydrogen as a backup fuel for lithium-ion batteries. They will also produce a 19-ton hydrogen-electric truck starting in 2024.
Tevva’s latest move aims to counter what the company sees as “a huge appetite among fleet operators for electric trucks, as the opportunity to reduce emissions makes economic sense.”
“We are committed to making sustainable trucks accessible at scale and believe our technology will enable the transport sector and governments of Europe to achieve their net zero goals,” Bennett said in one Explanation. “By using both hydrogen and electric fuel sources, we can rethink the energy mix in transportation, reduce the strain on our electricity grid and accelerate the adoption of electric trucks.”
Although Tevva now has approval to mass-produce its electric truck, the company is not new to the segment. The company initially focused on hydrogen to complement battery power and has had trucks on UK roads since 2016, including 15 extended-range electric trucks operated by UPS in Southampton and Birmingham since 2019.
Tevva is now working with energy partners to deliver low-carbon hydrogen to its customers’ depots, according to Bennett, who told Forbes.com, “As an additional energy carrier, hydrogen has the ability to reduce demand on existing grid infrastructure. further support for the introduction of (dual-energy) electric trucks.”
At this point, Tevva is focusing on the UK and the rest of Europe for the rest of this year, “but is looking at other global markets, including North America, after that,” Bennett said. But while Tevva may eventually sell its electric trucks on that continent, the company has no plans to build them here.