EVS23: Up close and personal with the Modec, the all-electric delivery truck

Well, here's at least one neat vehicle that Europeans currently have that Americans will soon be able to buy: the Modec all-electric truck. You might be familiar with the Modec from our previous posts (see below) but the short story is that this is a delivery van specifically designed for modern city parcel delivery. You can see in the photo above and in the gallery below that the Modec does not have any doors on the side of the cab. Instead, the driver steps out the back of the cab, grabs the package, and can then exit the van on whichever side of the road is closer to the delivery location and/or safer. Smart.

I spoke with Lord Jamie Borwick, chairman and founder of Modec, and Catherine Hutt, Modec's marketing and sales coordinator (listen here, 13 min, 9 MB) about the truck. "We are battery agnostic," Borwick told me, and explained that with the self-contained battery packs that the truck uses, future batteries can be easily swapped into the powertrain. Currently, the batteries themselves weigh a ton, but in three or five years lighter or more powerful batteries can be used to give upgraded performance. The Modec truck is capable of a 50 mph top speed using either Zebra batteries (which use sodium nickel chloride chemistry) or lithium ion. The cost for these trucks starts at £30,000 (around $60,000) and the battery is leased to the buyer. The way Borwick described it, it's just like when you buy an ICE - you don't buy all the diesel fuel you'll ever use up front. Of course, it's not like Modec will give you free electricity as part of the battery lease, but that's another issue. Cost for the U.S. version is not yet set, and neither is a delivery date.

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