- Watt Electric Vehicle Company plans eCV1 lineup of electric trucks and panel vans, based on its Passenger and Commercial EV Skateboard (PACES) architecture.
- The planned trucks are set to be powered by 110-kWh batteries, which should give them an estimated range of 290 miles.
- The EV startup plans an annual capacity of 5000 units annually, with a factory in the Midlands.
The UK-based Watt Electric Vehicle Company took the cover off its eCV1 concept last month, showing the platform that will underpin various electric vehicles and vans. The sleek design, created to be used in 3.5-tonne panel trucks and vans and is expected to be built upon WEVC’s Commercial and Passenger EV Skateboard (PACES) design that can be used to support two-motor layouts or a single motor depending on the requirements of the buyer.
The startup, which launched in 2022, describes its PACES platform as a “cell-to-chassis” technology, which refers to the construction of a structural battery pack that is designed to reduce the weight of the chassis and improve its stiffness. The chassis is built using a process known as FlexTech that uses CNC-folded and laser-cut aluminum pieces which are interlocked and bonded which reduces the overall weight.
Inside the cabin, the eCV1 is quite similar to Tesla’s design, right down to the central seat position and camera-based seating rather than mirrors. The cab is designed to provide impressive visibility for the driver, the cabin is also large enough for standing in, and lends itself to the panel van design.
For range, the design is built to run on a 110-kWh battery that promises to allow it to travel up to 290 miles between recharges although the company hasn’t specified exactly which models can be expected to have this kind of rating.
“Our innovative approach to dealing with the issues facing this industry allows for the shift to mission-specific, and yet affordable electronic light commercial vehicle” stated Neil Yates, Founder and CEO of Watt Electric Vehicles. “We have been embracing sustainable practices in our creation, manufacturing, and operating of our vehicles that are commercial in order to specifically meet the increasingly strict corporate and fleet operators’ sustainability requirements.”
WEVC announces that it plans to have the capacity to produce 5000 vehicles per year on this platform. The vehicles are set to be built in the UK. The company plans to start manufacturing at a facility located in the Midlands in the third quarter of the year.
At present, there are several electric van startups that are all competing for this segment of the commercial vehicle industry: small and mid-sized delivery vans and trucks. WEVC has a projected annual capacity that is in the mid-four figures and isn’t seeking Rivian or BrightDrop with its product line targeted specifically at customers from Europe. UK and Europe looking to compete with larger automakers in the EV van market.
But, just like Rivian or BrightDrop, WEVC is betting that commercial buyers will demand an individual design that is designed from scratch rather than waiting for a larger selection of electric vans that are mass-market and trucks to be released by well-known automakers.
The company is currently in an important phase which is characterized by a fast cash burn during the months leading up to the scheduled launch of production.
“The business is moving rapidly toward a zero-emission future” Yates added. “Working together with WEVC together with Our eCV1 platform will allow our customers to take advantage of commercial vehicles with electrification that is tailored to meet their specific needs.”