(This story has been updated to accurately reflect the value of the deal between GMW and GEM.)
Electrification is reaching beyond the consumer market into final-mile delivery vehicles, ones that deliver packages, food or services within a couple miles of a warehouse, store, restaurant or office. Looking to capitalize on what it perceives to be an untapped market is Biliti Electric, which revealed its GMW Taskman at the 2021 LA Auto Show on Wednesday.
The company says the three-wheeled vehicle is already in use in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa for such companies as Amazon, Walmart, and Ikea, delivering 12 million packages more than 20 million miles.
Part of that capability is the ability to remain on the road rather than spending hours recharging. Fortunately, the company’s got a solution for that: SmartSwapp battery technology, which it introduced at the Los Angeles event.
The Taskman is the first electric three-wheeler to be designed with a modular battery swapping system. SmartSwapp allows drivers to simply stop, swap and go. It takes away range anxiety, prolonged charge times and increases productivity with the same vehicle, officials noted.
Delivery agents can now fulfill orders in inner cities or suburbs without worrying about vehicle range and charging infrastructure. The vehicles are cloud-connected via mobile and show real-time availability of nearest SmartSwapp stations based on location.
Other charging methods
However, if there’s not battery available for swapping and no plug available, all is not lost.
“At AutoMobility, we also highlighted a very important green innovation for the first time — solar panels,” said Rahul Gayam, Biliti Electric CEO. “The solar panels are mounted on three sides of the vehicle and provide enough power to fully recharge the Taskman battery in just over three hours. You can rely on the sun for 100% recharge, for an extended range of another 110 miles.”
The GMW Taskman is a fully-electric vehicle that runs 110 miles per charge, with a recharge time of 3.5 hours. Payload is fairly good for such a small vehicle, at 1,500 pounds. Top speed is a modest 25 mph, so its use as final mile delivery vehicles, or for use in large gated communities for maintenance workers and gardeners. Final mile delivery? It’s certainly possible.
GMW is short for Gayam Motor Works, an Indian exporter of three-wheeled vehicles that reached a $400 million partnership agreement in March with Luxemberg based GEM Global Yield LLC.
“COVID-19 has caused a steep increase in ecommerce penetration globally. E-commerce firms and fleet operators find small commercial EVs to be an affordable and smarter way of moving goods around, as last-mile delivery accounts for the largest portion of supply chain costs,” said GMW’s COO Sri Harsha Bavirisetty, in March.