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The Future of Commercial Vehicles is Electric Upcycling says Lunaz

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The electrification of classic cars creates more controversy than any part of the EV revolutionand it is one of the most controversial conversions of all Rolls Lunaz on Royce phantom. But while premium icons like these make the headlines, Lunaz’s broader target is more mainstream. I spoke with Founder and CEO David Lorenz about how Lunaz hopes to accelerate electrification in commercial vehicles.

“We have started with the Mercedes Econic platform, which is one of the biggest selling trucks of its kind in Europe,” says Lorenz. “But it has countless applications.” The first of these that Lunaz is focusing on is litter collection. “We are also looking at other areas, such as the mining industry, where they have special equipment, which is better to re-engineer than to build a new one.”

“We’re looking at specialized equipment that has duty cycles that we can really understand,” Lorenz explains. “It’s all about tailoring a duty cycle to the needs of a fleet operator. That’s where you can reduce the cost of the transition from internal combustion to the EV.” Electric vehicles are widely criticized by service providers for their limited range and much slower recharging than fossil fuel recharging. But a commercial vehicle like a garbage truck can have a very accurate daily distance estimate, so the battery size can be adjusted to meet needs exactly.

“The reason I went into the garbage sector in the first place is that when you look at the matrix of all commercial vehicles, garbage trucks drive between 27 and 75 miles a day,” says Lorenz. “It’s a very small duty cycle, which means we’ve made a very modular battery system, so you can scale back. We have made a six-pack system, which is a 20-minute interchange. You can buy a vehicle with a smaller battery pack. This is really where the education piece needs to happen with the operators. You have to worry about the scope and address the real need of this duty cycle.”

“We’re trying to reduce the size of the vehicles in terms of battery pack size so, for example, if you do 25 miles a day, we specify that route pack,” says Lorenz. “We do a lot of analysis of each operator’s fleet. We then specify which vehicles are right for the routes, and then we take a more tailored approach than an OEM does.” An OEM will tend to produce a “one size fits all” product in their factory, which will be the same whether it is for 20 or 150 miles.

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