Electric Vehicles International is returning to its home in California from Mexico and later this month will have a state tour to celebrate; from their new home in Stockton to the state capitol, Sacramento. Along the way, they are offering test drives for any interested Californians. So if you’ve ever wanted to test-drive a 13 ton full electric delivery truck that goes 60 miles an hour on the freeway; now is the time.

Like some other electric vehicle companies, EVI plans to separate out the battery cost from the vehicle cost in order to be able to be flexible with rapidly developing battery technology, so customers would buy the vehicle but lease the batteries. This also makes it possible to alter the configuration to customize them to each customers’ needs.

Batteries could be either Valence Technologies lithium phosphate or Trojan lead-acid batteries. The monthly cost of the battery lease would be in the $1,400 range, and the delivery vans themselves would be between $50,000 and $55,000. This would be subsidized partly by Federal EV tax credits for that range from $7,500 for a 7 ton electric van to as much as $15,000 for 13 tons worth.

As an example of just how difficult it is to build a fully electric vehicle company from scratch, EVI has sold only 1,000 vehicles since its inception in 1989. That shows you just what an accomplishment Tesla’s on-time roll-out of the Roadster was, and is.

EVI will be returning to the US to face stiff competition from Ford which is launching its own electric delivery van after its joint agreement with Smith Electric Vehicles broke down. EVI will also be facing competition with Smith Electric Vehicles itself (maker of EV trucks since the 1920’s in the UK), which just launched in the US this year and hopes to be chosen as a delivery truck supplier for the US Post Office. This would be amajor coup as the current postal delivery fleet gets only about 10 miles per gallon with typical stop and go driving.

Image: EVI

Source: Edmonds Green Car Advisor