If 2022 was anything to go by, then 2023 is set to be an exciting year for electric vehicles. As we head into the new year, let’s check out the latest developments in all things electric with this month’s EV News Rewind.
We’re examining stories involving Uber’s design of unique ride-sharing and delivery EVs, a massive plan to roll out electric-powered fleets and infrastructure in New York City, and a new driving distance record for EV heavy trucks.
Uber is working on EVs designed specifically for ride-sharing and deliveries.
In January, Uber’s chief business development officer, Jennifer Vescio, shared the company’s goal of reaching zero emissions in the U.S, Canada, and Europe by 2030. While the transition will be anything but simple, Uber has already begun to take steps toward electrifying their fleet and making cheaper EVs available to their drivers.
The company recently shared with the Wall Street Journal that it has partnered with automakers design its own form of EVs. These customized vehicles will be optimized specifically for ride-sharing and delivery services. Delivery vehicles may have only two or three wheels in order to lower their footprints. Ride-sharing vehicles, on the other hand, may feature seats that let passengers face one another during their trips.
All of the vehicles will also be tailored toward urban environments, meaning that, unlike most cars, they will not be designed with high speed capacity. By lowering top speeds, Uber officials hope to lower the overall cost of production as well.
NYC mayor announces new charging infrastructure and replacement of city fleet vehicles with EVs.
On January 4, Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to replace fossil fuel-powered fleet vehicles with EVs and install 315 new EV chargers throughout New York City. The eventual goal is to electrify the city’s entire fleet, as indicated by the New York City Clean Fleet Plan.
The city received $10.1 million in federal grants to be distributed between the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Sanitation. Adams stated that the funds will “allow us to take nearly 1,000 fossil-fuel vehicles off our roads, helping us reduce carbon emissions, make our air cleaner, and save on fuel costs.” Many of the vehicles being replaced by the initiative are notoriously difficult to decarbonize, including heavy duty trucks and other municipal vehicles.
Volvo sets the new record for longest distance traveled by an EV heavy truck.
You might not often think about how far a particular piece of fruit had to travel before it reached your hands. However, truck driver Valentin “Balint” Schnell recently hauled 22 tons of oranges on a trip from Switzerland to Spain, and he did it in a 100% electric truck.
The journey set a new record for the longest distance driven by an EV heavy truck, coming in at 1,864 miles round trip. Though the total travel time for the EV model was longer than that of an ICE truck (seven days compared to about four days), Volvo, the manufacturers of the big rig, stated that the expedition saved nearly 3 tons of carbon emissions.
It was a difficult delivery. EV charging stations are scarce along the route and Schnell nearly ran out of energy during the home stretch. But, it promises that trips like these could soon become the norm as charging infrastructure expands, EVs are made more efficient, and companies slowly work out the most optimal routes for their deliveries.