UK manufacturers Charge have released a concept for a van, which they say will be released next year.
The van is said to be made of lightweight materials, with no emissions, powered by a battery giving range for 100 miles, with an option to add a small engine like that in the BMW i3 as a range-extender. This 3.5-tonne vehicle could cut operational costs by 50% and other models in the range will weigh up to a larger 26-tonne HGV. All the range will have the ability to go fully autonomous, with over-the-air updates to keep firmware and navigation systems all running smoothly.
Charge currently makes components for the Roborace series which is the world's first autonomous car racing competition. Charge are also the official truck partner for the Formula E electric racing series, promoting their prototype truck by making use of it in the driver parade.
The electric van company see the future for LCVs as only going one way - Electric. "We find trucks today totally unacceptable. At Charge we are making trucks the way they should be – affordable, elegant, quiet, clean and safe,” states Denis Sverdlov, current CEO of Charge, who seems dedicated to making the world of transport a better place, adding: “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.”