CATL to supply batteries for ELMS


The US start-up Electric Last Mile Solutions, which specialises in commercial electric utility vehicles, has signed a battery supply contract with CATL. In the future, CATL could also manufacture these cells locally in the US.

ELMS focuses on the eponymous last-mile delivery vehicles and in September started production of a Class 1 delivery van at its plant in Mishawaka in the US state of Indiana. This van already uses CATL battery cells. “We reached an important milestone to secure battery capacity in an extremely challenging supply environment,” says Rob Song, ELMS deputy chief financial officer.

Apart from the term until 2025, both companies have not given any further details on the agreed supply volumes or the financial scope. All that is known is that the cells in question are LFP cells. However, an ELMS spokesperson indicated that both companies will explore the possibility of CATL manufacturing the cells in the US and sending them from there to Indiana for ELMS assembly.

ELMS’ Class 1 delivery van will be priced from $34,000 (about 29,300 euros) before US tax credits. ELMS also plans to introduce a Class 3 delivery vehicle next year.

ELMS also announced plans to collaborate with battery-swapping start-up Ample as it expands its model range. The two companies plan to “introduce an industry-first bundled offering” that will see the Class 1 delivery vehicle equipped with Ample’s battery-swapping technology. A demonstrator is to be unveiled later this year, with the actual offering launching in the second quarter of 2022.

ELMS customers will thus be able to opt for an Energy-as-a-Service option, which should reduce the vehicle costs at the time of purchase – the customer will then only pay for the energy they use. Mobility-as-a-service offers, where the customer pays for the mile driven, are also to be developed.

ELMS has also opened an ‘Urban Mobility Lab’ in San Francisco – where the Ample demonstrator will also be on display. “The Lab’s focus will be wide-ranging, covering advanced vehicle technology, edge-to-cloud architecture, data-intensive applications and machine learning,” the company explains.

“The Urban Mobility Lab will have an unrelenting focus on transforming the urban last mile for our customers through clean, zero emissions electric vehicles,” says Jonathan Ballon, Chief Strategy Officer, ELMS. “We see our automotive engineering and manufacturing expertise at our Michigan, Indiana and China facilities coupled with the agile innovation culture and deep technology talent of Silicon Valley as a winning combination.” (deal with CATL), (Ample), (Urban Mobility Lab)


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