The UK-based firm Charge recently unveiled a new electric truck that it reportedly intends to offer for sale in 2017, according to a press release on the matter.
The electric truck will reportedly feature an all-electric range of 100 miles, with the option to utilize a “dual mode” that can be used to recharge the truck’s batteries (presumably a generator of some kind), thus allowing for a range of up to 500 miles. The trucks will reportedly receive firmware updates over the air (as Tesla vehicles do) and “are autonomous ready, built for future driverless regulations and ready at the push of a button.”
The particularly interesting part of the press release, though, is the bit about how “it will take 1 person just 4 hours to build an entire Charge truck. Meaning just 10 men, over 2 shifts a day can assemble 10,000 trucks a year. As Charge scales operations globally this will allow them to serve the huge demand. The first of many new factories will open in 2017 near their current HQ in Oxfordshire where the first Charge trucks were designed and built.”
Great if true, but that is one bold claim. I’ll maintain a bit of healthy skepticism here, but the press release certainly got my attention.
The CEO of Charge, Denis Sverdlov, commented on the reasons behind developing the new truck: “We find trucks today totally unacceptable. At Charge we are making trucks the way they should be — affordable, elegant, quiet, clean, and safe. We are removing all the barriers to entry for electric vehicles by pricing them in line with conventional trucks, giving every fleet manager, tradesman or company, no matter how big or small, the opportunity to change the way they transport goods and make our towns and cities better places to live in.”
It’s probably important to note here that Charge already has a lot of experience developing trucks (ranging in size from 3.5 tonnes to 26 tonnes) and that the firm was named as the official electric truck partner of the Formula E racing series earlier this year (logistics, driver parade, etc.).
The new trucks will reportedly be manufactured from “revolutionary” ultra-lightweight composite materials — which allows for weight reductions, which when combined with the firm’s “custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors” means that “they have been able to reduce the cost of operating by more than 50%.”
That sounds great. … Perhaps too good to be true, but we’ll know soon enough. If Charge does actually bring the truck to market in 2017, it will likely make quite a splash — presuming that the price is right, that is.