First all-electric delivery van available to Aussie freight operators | RenewEconomy

First all-electric delivery van available to Aussie freight operators

Australia’s first fully electric, zero emission delivery van is now available to freight and taxi operators, from local outfit SEA Electric.


The first fully electric, zero emission delivery van in Australia is now available to freight and taxi operators who want to not only reduce their fleet running costs but benefit from the gains of being an environmentally friendly operator.

The large capacity E4V van, the driveline of which has been developed by Melbourne-based SEA Electric, was officially made available last weekend after successfully completing trials that achieved a 400km range.

The vans, which are built on glider vans imported from one of the world’s largest van manufacturers, XGD, use SEA Electric’s proprietary powerchain, the SEA-Drive, which the company uses in all its 100 per cent electric transport vehicles.

The E4V, also available as a 14-seat minivan, is the first of SEA Electric’s delivery vehicles, and was joined by the company’s E4B 12-seater model in the successful 400km range trials.

The powerchain technology is not limited to vans however, as managing director Tony Fairweather tells RE.

“The technology can power commercial vehicles from the delivery van size, up to Australia’s largest rigid 6×4 vehicles at 23.5t,” he says.

SEA's 100% electric 23.5t Hino GHEV
The 100% electric 23.5t Hino GHEV rigid delivery truck. Source: SEA Electric

Fairweather adds that while they are pleased about the 400km range trials, the vans are aimed at the metropolitan delivery and pickup market which requires more like 200km per day.

“We are confident that this equates to the majority of vans sold in this 25,000pa market. Also minivan shuttle services and maxi-taxi’s for our E4B model,” says Fairweather.

What that means is that they will be able to work towards reducing the size of the batteries and hence also running costs.

“As much as we are very happy from the optimisation efforts of our SEA-drive technology, we are also benefiting from the regular cell density improvements that are being offered by our supplier,” Fairweather tells RE.

“Range is not an issue in this pick-up and delivery segment any more, and we are planning on battery size reductions in the near future to further improve cost and payloads,” he continues.

The environmental benefits of course are also undeniable, Fairweather adds, while charging the vans using the on-board charger and a standard 3 phase, 32amp power point (as compared to electric buses which require special charging infrastructure) at night also means less charging costs.

“Our products are zero emission, and although some may argue the impact of coal-fired power stations, our segment is typically charging during off-peak periods, when excess power is available,” Fairweather explains.

It’s the reduction in fleet costs he thinks will drive Australian operators to get on board the switch to EVs, adding that the introduction of financial incentives by policy makers would fast track the uptake of commercial electric fleets.

“Our market focus is on products that have a greater financial return to for our customers, as the total-cost-of-ownership is now less than that of a diesel product,” he says. “Yes it is cheaper to buy SEA-drive powered electric commercial vehicle than a diesel equivalent when understanding the true cost model.”

With the E4V now available, next stop for SEA Electric is to launch a range of rigid 100 per cent electric delivery vehicles to FMCG distributors within the Melbourne metropolitan area in the very near future.

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  1. MaxG 2 years ago

    I wish them all the success!
    Though keep in mind, once there a bunch of them at once firm, charging will require some upgraded power infrastructure.

    • Gyrogordini 2 years ago

      Hardly going to strain the grid with “3 phase 32A” Charging, for a while yet…
      Anyone know how big the battery is, and the onboard AC charger(s)? Hopefully it has a Type2 socket…

      • MaxG 2 years ago

        I meant, once you’ve got ten or twenty of them…

  2. onesecond 2 years ago

    That is some excellent news. Just imagine what would be possible with support from a farsighted government that actually wanted to keep living conditions on this planet bearable while building wealth and employment for the future instead of squeezing the last pennies out of consumers to hand over to their coal donors.

  3. Nick 2 years ago

    Awesome, can’t wait to see them on the road!

  4. Ian 2 years ago

    Very good news. There may be a place for many such companies in this country. The lack of overseas offerings may give a chance for local companies to flourish. Hopefully our dig it and ship it policy makers will reward these people.

  5. Steve Woots 2 years ago

    All good, especially for those of us who’d like an electric camper van in the near future!
    1. the small image on the link shows a van, but no photo of it here?
    2. “one of the world’s largest van manufacturers, XGD ” Funny that google can’t find this mob ??
    Here for some images of the van:

    • Malcolm Webster 2 years ago

      I think the Van ” Bodies ” are from Chinese Commercial vehicle Dragon.

      • Steve Woots 2 years ago

        could be! I was thinking it might be LDV

        • Malcolm Webster 2 years ago

          I read a report last year that the Body of this Van was made by Dragon Automotive in China.

  6. N Page 2 years ago

    Why can’t the public have access to them??? Come on this is more evidence of the Australian EV ban.

    • Malcolm Webster 2 years ago

      I think you will find in the near future there will be Vans produced for families to use.

  7. Gyrogordini 2 years ago

    Excellent news!

  8. Robert Comerford 2 years ago

    Wish them well

  9. William 2 years ago

    Where’ really gonna have to ramp up the storage / wind / wave energy capacity of this nation if EV’s really take off due to the fact that the sun don’t shine at night when most of these vehicles are likely to be charged. Unfortunately coal is still by far the biggest generator of power overnight in Australia so the mass adoption of EV will do little for environmental outcomes if govt and energy providers fail to deliver on this front.

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