Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

MellowVans’ Cool Electric Delivery Vehicles Look To Power The Global Last Mile Delivery Market

Stellenbosch-based MellowVans seeks to help firms across the globe in this space in their quest to unlock operational efficiencies and cost savings by providing them with low cost and emission-free transport. MellowVans develops, manufactures, and leases electric three-wheeler cargo vans that appear to hit the sweet spot of the delivery vehicle market.

The ecommerce market is heating up across the globe, giving a much needed boost to food and general consumer goods delivery service companies. We have covered quite a few delivery service startups that are looking to scale, including Greenspoon of Kenya, MyFoodness from Botswana, and Pedal Me from the United Kingdom. A lot of firms in the delivery service industry are looking to electric vehicles ranging from e-bikes and electric scooters to electric vans as they seek to unlock operational efficiencies and cost savings through lower maintenance costs and downtime.

Stellenbosch-based MellowVans seeks to help firms across the globe in this space in their quest to unlock operational efficiencies and cost savings by providing them with low cost and emission-free transport. MellowVans develops, manufactures, and leases electric three-wheeler cargo vans that appear to hit the sweet spot of the delivery vehicle market. These three-wheeler electric delivery vehicles make perfect sense in a world where the majority of urban trips are around 5 km or less and a huge chunk of transportation costs are incurred in this last mile phase. Urban trips account for a significant chunk of CO2 emissions. As much as 39% of CO2 emissions in Kenya, for example, are from the transport sector.

The MellowVans allow a much higher load capacity than a motorcycle and are just the right size, capturing the market somewhere in-between motorcycles and small diesel delivery vans. More efficiencies can be unlocked from “right sizing” vehicles as on many occasions firms dispatch larger fossil-powered vehicles with a load that can easily fit in a vehicle the size of a MellowVan. The MellowVan has been designed with both general parcels and food delivery in mind. MellowVans says its electric van has “More than enough room for parcels, and affordable enough to deliver food.” It has a lockable cargo area that has a decent 2.4 cubic meters of cargo space with a maximum load capacity of 150 kg.

MellowVans also want to lower the barriers to entry by offering its electric vans on a lease model. As the world is entering a recession from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, companies are expected to be a bit more circumspect when it comes to their expenditures. Many may put capex-related activities on hold and the no deposit lease plan that ensure opex savings would be welcomed with open arms at this time.

The MellowVans leasing model offers several advantages including:

  • Lower, more affordable running costs
  • Comprehensive Insurance
  • A brand new vehicle every 3 years
  • Mechanical Maintenance
  • You only pay for wear & tear
  • Tracking (including vehicle recovery)
  • Reporting
  • Licensing

Neil du Preez (founder and CEO), says for now MellowVans is exclusively focusing on the leasing model. “Leasing is the norm for commercial vehicles in Europe, and most of our clients prefer leasing. Uber drivers have also shown us that individual leasing can work effectively in South Africa.” This model has already gained significant traction as MellowVans has signed up customers in Europe and Southern Africa. “We’re in the Netherlands, Belgium, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and very soon we’ll have vehicles in Kenya, which is very exciting for us. We’re gearing up for EU homologation (roadworthy testing), where after we can actively pursue the EU market. There’s also a good possibility that we’ll have a presence in Australia and New Zealand very soon.”


Some of its customers include DHL Sub-Saharan Africa

MellowVans is opening up its leasing offer to individual drivers as well. “We’re finalizing a deal where we’ll lease our Vans to Takealot/Mr.D drivers directly, enabling them to lease their own delivery vehicle.” This would be a welcome initiative that will empower the drivers and offer much needed job opportunities for many others who will lease vehicles and become their own bosses, similar to what Uber has done in South Africa. MellowVans says its vehicles also “offer premium branding space in high-value environments,” thereby providing an additional revenue stream.

In another boost for the South African manufacturing industry, 60% of the components that go into a MellowVan are locally sourced. The chassis, shell, battery packaging and management systems are all locally produced. “Our standard battery pack is about 9 kWh (Lithium Iron Phosphate), which is good for around 100km per charge. The LiFePo chemistry is a good trade-off between lifetime, safety, weight and price. Our motor is a 4kW motor, as dictated by homologation requirements.”

The home delivery market worldwide is experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand from consumers after many nations implemented a range of movement restrictions ranging from issuing strong social distancing guidance to Stay at Home Orders to Full Lockdowns. Let’s hope the strong focus on the delivery service industry provides a sustainable addressable market for these kind of electric delivery vehicles.

Winter day in Amsterdam, Netherlands

All images courtesy of MellowVans

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


You May Also Like


Australians love their Teslas. Over 4,400 were sold in May — 3,178 Model Y and 1,298 Model 3 electric vehicles. It is sad to...

Climate Change

Canada's pipeline to nowhere keeps getting worse and worse for Canadians. And it's not like anyone in Alberta is thanking the federal Liberals for...


We don't need to make 25 times as much biofuel, we need to make perhaps four or five times as much as we do...


Africa New Energy and Vehicles (AfricaNEV) is a continental non-profit that aims to accelerate the adoption of e-mobility in Africa through policy advocacy, awareness...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.