November 27, 2020

Need to rent a big electric truck for moving or business? More options are coming soon

If you’ve got a big move coming up, you may soon able to do it with minimal carbon emissions.

Truck-rental service Fluid Truck is adding 600 electric cargo vans and trucks to its sharing platform, with availability starting in the fourth quarter of this year, the company announced in a press release Thursday.

The vehicles will be electric conversions from Lightning Systems. The roster includes electric versions of the Ford Transit 350HD delivery van, Ford E-450 Class 4 truck, and Hino 268 Class 6 truck. They will be deployed in “major urban areas” across the United States, said Fluid Truck, which rents vehicles through a mobile app and website.

The rentals should make electric vans more widely available for occasional use by small business owners, or perhaps those who just need a mammoth van for one urban task.

Considering that much of their duty cycle involves stop-and-go urban traffic, delivery vans seem ripe for electrification. Manufacturers seem to be slowly acknowledging that.

Ryder already rents and supports electric freight vans produced by Chanje—a vehicle Green Car Reports has driven—under an agreement made back in 2017.

Although there’s a lack of other electric-van options in the U.S. right now—and Lightning’s vehicles are conversions—that’s due to change soon. General Motors has announced that it’s entering the electric commercial van business soon.

Ford is launching an electric Transit for the 2022 model year, and Amazon plans to take delivery of 100,000 Rivian electric vans by 2030.

Mercedes-Benz and Nissan also sell electric versions of their commercial vans, but so far these models haven’t made it to the U.S.

In addition to selling electric-vehicle conversions, Lightning appears to be addressing all the aspects of an ecosystem. It earlier this year released a mobile fast-charging system for commercial vehicles, called Lightning Mobile.

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