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New Electric Last-Mile Delivery Truck in Development

Investments in clean-energy trucking continue.

Cityfreighter Inc. and AB-Joost have signed a development agreement to build Cityfreighter’s beta version of the CF1 electric class 3 truck at AB Joost’s production facility in Belgium.

The CF1 electric truck is aimed at last-mile logistics, with a special modular concept featuring a low floor with easy driver access that the companies said will significantly decrease development costs and time to market.

A fully functional concept vehicle was presented by Cityfreighter at the ACT show in Long Beach, Calif., in 2019. The beta version is anticipated to be finished in March, followed by a targeted start of production in the beginning of 2022.

“COVID-19 has forced us to change our global development plans and we are very happy about this agreement, as it will help to move the CF1 into production more quickly,” Michael Schoening, president of Cityfreighter Inc., said.

Both companies said they are focusing on building a long-term relationship. Future commitments regarding assembly and distribution will be determined at a later stage, they said.

“We are pleased about taking part of this exciting journey,” Joost Lauwyck, CEO of AB Joost N.V., said. “The urban delivery market is looking for customizable solutions and Cityfreighter’s unique concept provides large fleet operators with options you won’t get from larger OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).”

Cityfreighter is a startup from California that is developing fully electric low-floor class 3 trucks for the last-mile delivery industry. AB-Joost is a Belgium-based bodybuilder, specializing on coaches and electric commercial vehicles. AB-Joost operates a 150,000-square-foot-facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technologies and located at the Belgian coast.

Companies are taking varying routes to last-mile delivery optimization as e-commerce grows exponentially.

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Last month, Amazon said it was upgrading its fleet of delivery trucks to meet the online demands driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. The e-commerce giant ordered more than 2,200 heavy-duty Utilimaster “walk-in” delivery trucks from Shyft Group, a Michigan-based specialty vehicle company.

In May, DHL Express and Reef Technology began piloting low-power electric-assisted e-Cargo Cycles for deliveries across Miami. The three-wheeled cycles are equipped with an accompanying cargo container and are capable of pulling up to 400 pounds or 60 cubic feet in volume.

The two companies are bringing the environmentally friendly e-Cargo Cycles to Miami as part of the DHL GoGreen strategy to reduce its carbon footprint.