LOS ANGELES, CA – A new electric truck manufacturer known as Chanje (pronounced “change”) has emerged from the shadows today, promising to roll out medium-duty models in the U.S. by this fall.
The first product is planned to be a Class 5 panel van with a 16,500-pound Gross Vehicle Weight and 160-kilometer range.
The business is backed by Hong Kong-based FDG Electric Vehicles, which co-created the product. Combined, they say they have invested nearly US $1 billion in the project so far. In China, FDG products include Changjiang electric shuttles and buses.
The California-based Chanje says it has already secured “volume orders” to be delivered later this year, according to a release distributed this morning.
While the privately held company is new to North America, some of its personnel are pulled from the executive suites of major manufacturers. Joerg Sommer, formerly senior vice president at Volkswagen, has been named Chief Operating Officer, while former Tesla vice president James Chen becomes vice president and general counsel. They join president Ian Gardner, formerly of the Boston Consulting Group, and vice president – manufacturing Jeff Robinson, formerly of Tesla.
“The future of transportation is zero-emission. We expect commercial electric vehicles to become the norm soon,” said Bryan Hansel, Chief Executive Officer. “There is a tremendous opportunity for Chanje because no one else in the marketplace can meet a customer’s demand for delivery of large numbers of high quality, commercial electric vehicles.”
The company says it will also provide large customers with renewable energy and charging capabilities as a turnkey service.
Chanje also says it is in the midst of selecting the site for a U.S. assembly facility west of the Mississippi River. A service, parts and distribution partnership is to be announced in coming weeks.
Taking a ground-up approach to designing an electric vehicle, Chanje says its customers could save 70% on maintenance costs and 70% on fuel bills when compared to diesel equipment. Early customer tests suggest the models will deliver the energy equivalent of 50 mpg (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers).
The company also says it is adopting an autonomous driving strategy using apps and touch screens, and enhanced two-way communication, reporting data like top speeds and location in real time.
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