A new electric-vehicle company called Chanje isn't focused on cars; instead, has set its sights on what it believes is a prime market for electric vehicles.

That market is medium-duty delivery trucks, of which there are 7 million in the United States. About 500,000 new commercial-delivery trucks are sold each year.

Chanje's electric truck, its sole U.S. product, is built from the ground up and differs from those created by companies that rely on retrofitting current commercial trucks.

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The Chanje electric delivery van is also going on sale next month.

And Ryder, the commercial fleet management company, said earlier this month it has partnered with Chanje to become its exclusive sales-channel partner.

The huge operator has also placed its first order for the electric trucks. Prices haven't been revealed, but Chanje CEO (and former Tesla executive) Bryan Hansel said lease payments will be "at parity" with equivalent diesel-powered trucks, according to The LA Times.

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

Although the company is based in California, its success also rides on China: Chanje is 49-percent owned by Hong Kong's FDG, which makes battery cells and packs in mainland China.

The electric delivery trucks are sold in China under the Chang Jiang brand name and a couple of thousand have already been delivered.

Chanje's first electric trucks will be produced in China, though the company plans to move production to the United States if it finds the success it believes awaits.

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The electric-truck maker is looking for manufacturing sites on the West Coast; future plans include Midwest and East Coast production facilities as well.

Chanje says its electric truck's platform is highly adaptable, meaning it can be lengthened or shortened to meet different buyers' needs.

As for the electric powertrain, it's been developed with the delivery-service industry in mind.

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

Chanje says delivery trips total roughly 50 to 70 miles per day, so its electric truck will provide a range of up to 100 miles.

The electric vehicles can haul up to 6,000 pounds and provide a maximum of 580 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Chanje will still have to convince fleets the lower operating costs from fuel savings are worth the initial investment.

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California provides incentives for electric medium-duty vehicles, as well as passenger cars and light trucks, though Chanje isn't banking on them lasting indefinitely.

The company said it also plans to provide renewable-energy charging systems for large fleet buyers.

[hat tip: Dennis Griffin]


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