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Israeli startup REE touts new electric delivery van as customer demonstrations begin

Israeli startup REE Automotive and commercial vehicle builder J.B. Poindexter & Co. launched live demonstrations of their Proxima proof-of-concept electric delivery van last week.

It is the first fully drive-by-wire walk-in van, the companies said.

The demonstrations are a significant milestone for REE, whose electric chassis and drive-by-wire technology underpin the van. The body was developed by walk-in delivery van manufacturer Morgan Olson and electric vehicle developer EAVX. Both are units of the privately held J.B. Poindexter.

The partnership is targeting last-mile delivery fleet operators with the tests as they pitch the Proxima as a tool for meeting electrification targets, REE CEO Daniel Barel told Automotive News.

“A lot of the big players have pledged some sort of commitment to carbon neutrality. Now they have to meet those commitments,” Barel said. “Time is running out.”

He said he believes there will be “strong demand” for the Proxima.

In a news release, the companies said they want to “reduce total cost of ownership” for fleet owners as they transition to EVs.

The vehicle also offers benefits relative to gasoline-powered delivery vans, including improved aerodynamics and enhanced maneuverability, they said.

EAVX COO Mark Hope said the electric chassis allows for re-imagined body design, including a load floor about 1 foot lower than on a typical delivery van, allowing for easier access and speeding delivery times.

The van also features larger side windows and a larger windshield than a typical delivery van, giving the driver better visibility.

“Proxima is about taking a fresh look at what we’ve done and our know-how and adapting it to modern chassis systems,” Hope said.

The all-wheel-drive van is designed for urban deliveries. It has a driving range of about 125 miles and a battery capacity of 120 kilowatt-hours, the partnership said. It has a maximum speed of 75 mph and a payload capacity of 8,000 pounds.

Hope said EAVX plans to “transition leadership on the project” to Morgan Olson in 2023, moving into a supporting role with REE as the van goes into production.

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