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This is what big companies want from car and truck makers in EVs

Vehicle manufacturers are ramping up electric vehicle production, so big companies like Amazon, AT&T, and IKEA are telling vehicle manufacturers what kinds of EVs they want. Here’s the “blueprint” that members of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance are today presenting to makers like Volvo, GM, and Daimler explaining which EVs they want to purchase in the United States over the next five years.

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Big companies’ EV wish lists

In January 2020, as Electrek then reported, Boston-based sustainability nonprofit group Ceres launched the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a group to help companies accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

The Alliance’s flagship members are Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, DHL, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens. The Alliance members collectively own, lease, or operate nearly 1.3 million on-road vehicles in the United States.

Vehicle manufacturers should sit up and pay attention. These companies aren’t brand loyal: 96% of Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliancesurvey respondents are willing to switch manufacturers to get the EV configurations they want.

The aggregate results of an internal Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance survey found that members who participated in the survey collectively plan to procure 333,000 electric vehicles ranging in size from class 1 to class 8.

Key findings include:

  • Battery preference
    • Alliance members prefer battery-electric vehicles over plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles across most vehicle types.
  • Charging location flexibility
    • While respondents indicated that most charging would take place at private locations such as employee homes or fleet depots, they noted that on-road charging is a critical element of the commercial transition to EVs, particularly for regional and long-haul freight.
  • Sedans
    • Sedans accounted for more than 75% – 208,000 – of planned light-duty vehicle procurements over the next five years. The procurement weighted minimum ZEV range that would meet the majority of use cases for respondents is 275 miles.
  • Desired vehicle specifications
    • The analysis includes an aggregate list of detailed desired specifications including minimum electric range, towing capacity, and cargo space across vehicle types. The details can be found here in the report.

Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express US, said in an emailed statement:

DHL has set an aggressive target of electrifying 60% of its last-mile fleet and introducing more environmentally friendly medium- and heavy-duty trucks to its fleet over the next decade.

The US market is an important part of our global strategy, and we are hopeful that the projections and insight provided in the report will help accelerate the development and production of new EVs in the market segments most important to our growing industry.

Electrek’s Take

Why shouldn’t big corporations provide a wish list to auto manufacturers? It’s more efficient to relay now what they all want, and they’re going to spend a fortune. And of course, they’ll need feedback from the vehicle makers on what might be best, too.

This is going to be a huge collaborative effort at the corporate and manufacturing level over the next five years that will dramatically shift commercial fleets to electric and other clean energy. It’s exciting.

Read more: Hertz orders 100,000 Teslas, the single-largest EV purchase ever, with Tom Brady campaign

Photo: DHL

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.