A lot of people are still undecided about owning an electric vehicle, but in the commercial world, the battle is over and EVs have won. Penske, one of the world’s largest rental and leasing companies for commercial vehicles, has just placed an order for 750 Ford E-Transit battery-electric vans.
According to CarScoops, Penske made the decision to buy the E-Transit vans after a successful pilot test in Reading, Pennsylvania, that started last November. The vehicles will be available first to leasing and rental customers in Southern California, with other US locations being phased in throughout this year.
“We’re excited to help bring these new vehicles to market as both a rental and full-service lease option for our customers,” said Art Vallely, president of Penske Truck Leasing. “We continue to expand and diversify our fleet of electric vehicles and to offer new options for customers seeking more sustainable choices when it comes to transportation.”
Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis said that when the testing program began last fall, “Our customers are telling us that they have ambitious corporate sustainability goals to reduce their fleet’s carbon emissions through the integration of all-electric vehicles. E-Transit and supporting Ford Pro ecosystem, especially end-to-end charging, play a critical role in achieving those goals and maintaining their business operations without disruption.”
The Ford E-Transit has an estimated range of 126 miles. Although BrightDrop also sells an electric delivery vehicle, it is not yet in full production. Penske says it chose the Ford product because of its partnership with Ford over many years. The first of the electric vans are expected to arrive at Penske locations in the next few weeks.
“Penske and Ford have a longstanding and valued relationship,” said Vallely in November. “We expect to see strong utilization and interest from customers making final-mile deliveries, regional deliveries, and eventually consumer use for smaller household moves.”
It’s good news for the EV revolution that battery-electric commercial vehicles are being accepted by large companies like Penske. The more people see battery-electric vehicles on the road and the more drivers tell others about the advantages of driving an electric vehicle, the sooner the word will trickle down to the general public that the torch has been passed and that driving an EV is the future of transportation.
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