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Fleets will flock to new eDeliver 7 van: LDV

LDV expects to sell ‘hundreds’ of electric vans per month in Aus, primarily to fleets

12 Feb 2024

LDV Australia says fleets are the focus for its new electric midsize van, the eDeliver 7, which has been priced and positioned to make business buyers think twice before choosing a new diesel van instead.


The eDeliver 7 starts from $59,990 before on-road costs for ABN holders, with an array of variants available, and while that pricing is about $10,000 higher than mainstream diesel vans such as the Toyota HiAce, LDV’s team argues that the electric van is competitive, if not compelling, for its ongoing ownership costs, and the total cost of ownership for fleet buyers. 


LDV Australia general manager Dinesh Chinappa admits that for smaller enterprises and owner-operator couriers, the price might not quite be the sweet spot, but he outlined that the brand is speaking to a number of medium-sized enterprises with big fleets of vehicles around the country that could be ready to move to an electric van.


“I think eDeliver 7 enters into the medium size business. What do I think you’ve got there? We now fall into Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, Rentokil Initial, Wormald Security – the smaller, but still important, big businesses. They’re not the mega brands of Australia, but they’re big businesses,” said Mr Chinappa.


“The eDeliver 9 (large electric van) sells to top-tier blue-chip corporates, people like Coles, Woolworths, Ikea – that level of private entity, and then government and energy infrastructure companies. So, we don’t sell down to that medium size (company),” he said.


“We fall now into that category where fleet managers can actually sit back and look at this thing and say ‘this is the right price for us, we can actually justify commercially buying this thing and operating it, and we can also start to achieve our climate change responsibility, our social responsibility corporate objectives’,” he said.


Mr Chinappa added that fleet buyers think differently to private customers, with longer-term projections and perspectives in mind.


“This car, mathematically, has the right to expect to sell in the hundreds per month. Mathematically, financially. When you look at the commercial viability of the van, you're looking at a premium to a Toyota HiAce, circa 15 per cent, right? 


“As soon as you run your eye over the cost of fuel versus the cost of electricity, servicing costs; electric versus diesel maintenance costs, service intervals of two years … As soon as you start doing the algorithms around the cost of ownership, you'll start to see that serious fleet operators are going to be able to say, you know what, this is starting to make sense,” explained Mr Chinappa.


“An owner-driver, courier driver is potentially not a buyer for the eDeliver 7,” he said.


“An owner-driver courier is typically a first-generation immigrant, and he’s buying himself a job, and he’s able to earn a decent living, so long as he’s prepared to work hard. And he’s essentially a used car buyer … So we haven’t got the pricing and entry-level down at that level yet, where an owner-driver operator would buy the car,” he said.


“But his corporate client is going to look at this thing and say, you know what, this works for us, and we can make it work. And that's what we're already finding here. So it will transition, and it will transition progressively over time,” said Mr Chinappa.


Ateco Group executive chair Neville Crichton said the eDeliver 7 van is a turning point for the business.


“That's the first (LDV) that's actually designed, ground-up, as an electric car,” said Mr Chrichton.


“We've got the pricing right, we think we've got the package incredibly good. And as Dinesh said, the volumes, I think you will be astounded,” he said.


The brand is set to offer the eDeliver 7 electric van range with two battery pack options, two wheelbase choices, and two roof height choices.


But the range will also expand later in 2024 or early in 2025 with the addition of a diesel model known as Deliver 7 – a move that will potentially offer those owner-operators who can’t justify the immediate expense of the electric van to get into the newer-generation model range.


A similar rollout will play out once more with the new electric ute, codenamed GST, to launch early in 2025, followed by a diesel version about 12 months later.

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