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CMA CGM joins Volvo and Renault on joint venture for electric vans

CMA CGM joins Volvo and Renault on joint venture for electric vans
CMA CGM joins Volvo and Renault on joint venture for electric vans

French shipping company CMA CGM has joined Volvo and Renault as a founding member of the next generation of electric vans venture, Flexis SAS. The venture aims to spearhead the decarbonization efforts in the transport and logistics industries. 

CMA CGM has acquired a 10% stake in Flexis SAS and will invest up to $130 million by 2026.

Volvo Group and Renault Group, each owning a 45% stake in Flexis SAS, have planned to invest a total of EUR 300 million over the next three years.

Growth in European market for electric vans 

The electric vehicle (EV) industry has been experiencing growth as many companies and logistics providers look to go ‘greener’. 

In November, US-based trucking manufacturer Mack Trucks started offering customers a monthly subscription and a pay-as-you-go mileage program on medium-duty electric trucks. The ElectriFi Subscription may address some concerns that trucking and logistics companies may have about the high cost involved in getting an electric truck fleet off the ground. 

“New expectations for electrified vans are emerging as professional customers are facing increasing pressure from climate change and CO2 regulations, while e-commerce and logistics are booming. The European market for electrified vans is expected to grow by 40% per year until 2030,” CMA CGM says

By blending the agility of a start-up with the power of established industry leaders, Flexis is uniquely positioned. It brings together the manufacturing prowess of top automotive companies and the specialized logistics expertise of the leading firm in the automotive logistics sector.

Game-changer for logistics 

The new fully electric Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) platform promises a game-changer for logistics, offering a highly modular design suitable for various body types. This cost-effective solution doesn’t compromise on safety standards.

These vehicles are designed to streamline delivery operations by incorporating a sophisticated electronic platform. They have advanced capabilities for monitoring delivery activities and evaluating business performance, potentially reducing overall usage costs by up to 30% for logistics companies.

These vans will also feature cutting-edge connected services thanks to software-defined vehicle technology. This ensures that the vehicles remain up-to-date throughout their lifecycle. They stand out for their compact design, perfect for urban settings, and their flexibility to offer customized solutions with varying battery capacities. They will be the first in their category to introduce an 800V architecture.

Manufacturing will take place at Renault Group’s Sandouville plant, a facility renowned for its expertise in LCV production. 

Global EV market 

Grand View Research reports the global EV market is set for excellent growth in the next six years. “The market is driven by initiatives taken by governments globally to promote the manufacturing of electric vehicles. For instance, in February 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new initiatives to establish an advanced, convenient, and domestically produced electric vehicle charging network.”

In addition, the report adds rising investments in EVs are considered a major driver for the market.

ALSO READ: CMA CGM and Air France-KLM end joint venture

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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