REE Automotive recently revealed its P7-B, a class 3 box truck built on a P7 cab chassis which was previously revealed. Before we get into the details and story of this 150-mile EV with a payload of up to 4,400 pounds, I want to get into why this is an important story.
When it comes to moving cargo, it’s easy for us Americans to think of semi-trucks. We see them all the time, and they can move up to 40 tons of cargo up to around 2,000 miles between refueling. It’s hard work and sacrifice for the people who drive them, and we frequently see reality TV shows and even hit movies about truckers. So, when we think about electrifying cargo, trucks like the upcoming (eventually) Tesla Semi get most of our attention.
But, over-the-road trucks are pretty efficient, relatively speaking. They’re 20 times heavier than the average sedan and most crossover SUVs when fully loaded, but still manage to get around 7-8 MPG. If the average passenger car were efficient as them, pound for pound, you’d be looking at something like a 7-seat crossover getting 50 MPG.
Part of the reason semi-trucks are so efficient is that they tend to spend a lot of time moving at a fairly steady speed on the highway. Like their smaller combustion cousins everyone drives, they get much better highway mileage than they would doing stop-and-go driving in the city.
So, if you want to find some really inefficient vehicles that are the best candidates for switching to EVs, you don’t want to look on the interstates. The real gas hogs are all driving around cities. Even a small efficient vehicle can get terrible mileage doing that kind of driving. One great example are postal vehicles, whether you’re looking at the old ones or the newest ones. Even with a small engine, they get worse than 10 MPG.
The good news? This is where EVs do their best. Stop and go traffic, low speeds, and lots of sitting still are where EVs can get their best efficiency. So, city delivery vehicles generally don’t need huge batteries to deliver even heavy loads around cities.
The P7-B Box Truck
The REE Class 3, all-by-wire electric truck, which is based on the P7 modular chassis and targets the important and growing commercial EV mid- and last-mile delivery market, has applications including 16-foot vans and delivery trucks. It was created in response to market demands, and it offers a possible route for REE to provide whole vehicles to its customers. It also follows the recent announcement of Proxima Powered by REE, which is P7’s debut on a walk-in van and features JB Poindexter’s Morgan Olson and EAVX Proxima body matched with REE’s P7 stripped chassis.
“The on-track testing of the P7-B and extensive customer evaluations are another crucial step on the road to commercialization and deployment of test fleets followed by scale adaptation in fleets,” said Tali Miller, chief business officer at REE. “Feedback from our customers has been that this is the truck they have been waiting for – a driver-centric work truck that drives like a sedan but is built to deliver under the harshest commercial duty cycle. Our modular P7 chassis allows us to design vehicles tailored to our customers’ needs and we are excited to be showing them what our unique technology affords their fleets as we support them on their path towards electrification and carbon neutrality.”
The P7’s interior space is 15.8 inches (40 cm) greater than a regular compact truck, and there’s also extra cargo volume. There’s added passenger capacity as well, with a low step-in height of 362 mm (15.6 in). The maximum speed of 75 mph (120 km/h), max range of 150 miles (241 km), up to 4,400 lb (2,000 kg) payload, and vehicle weight ratings of up to 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) are all included. The box part of the box truck may be customized to meet the demands of the customer. All-wheel steer, all-wheel drive, regenerative braking, creep control, hill start assist, and torque vectoring are all included as standard features with the full x-by-wire architecture. Over-the-air updates are also available.
Perhaps most importantly, the P7-B and the P7 modular chassis will be made in the United States and the United Kingdom. So, it won’t be yet another commercial EV that you can’t get in the US.
To date, input from potential clients such as international delivery, logistics, and e-commerce businesses has been good and encouraging. To date, customers have directly experienced the low step-in height to faster delivery times and greater energy efficiency due to improved aerodynamics and highly efficient power management system of the P7 chassis architecture.
Customers also appreciated REE’s all-wheel drive and all-wheel steer for unparalleled vehicle control, resulting in superior handling and safety in inclement weather. For enhanced driver comfort, safety, and productivity, the driver-focused cabin has been created to offer maximum ergonomics and human-machine interface. The objective of the P7-B is to help reduce total ownership costs (TCO) to assist with fleet EV adoption.
Here are the complete specifications for the vehicle:
GVWR 14,000 lb / 6.4 tonnes
Payload: 4,400 lb / 2,000 kg
Min Load Floor Height: 23 in / 58 cm
Cargo Volume: 812 ft3 / 23 m3
Drive All-wheel drive by wire
Peak Motor Power: 400 kW
Peak Torque: 545 Nm
Voltage: 400 V
Driving Range: 150 miles / 241 km
Max Speed: 75 mph / 120 kph
Steer: All-wheel steer by wire
Turning Radius: 19 ft / 6.0 m
Driver Position: Forward Cab
REE also gave us a short video, which gives us a good look at some of the key features.
We can see that it’s very maneuverable, doesn’t swap and tip on awkward road grades, and seems to be very safe. It also has a lot of space for cargo, and it doesn’t look bad, either. If I was working in last-mile deliveries, it looks like it would be a great vehicle for doing that kind of work, especially when that means you’d get air conditioning in most cases. If I owned a company that did that kind of work, I’d be glad to save on fuel and maintenance while not torturing my employees.
So, this seems like it could be a great alternative to not only today’s combustion delivery vehicles, but some of the competitors.
Featured image provided by REE.
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