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The Ford E-Transit van. Courtesy of Ford

The latest step in Ford's foray into electric vehicles is a cargo van arriving late next year with a starting price under $45,000.

Why it matters: Ford wants to defend its hold on the commercial vehicle market where there's growing demand for electric delivery and utility vans by companies looking to make good on carbon-cutting pledges or comply with new rules.

Driving the news: Thursday's rollout of the E-Transit makes this point in all kinds of ways.

  • The range isn't huge — 126 miles — but neither is the cost, and it makes sense for vehicles that operate in urban delivery routes with access to centralized charging.
  • Ted Cannis, a top exec in Ford's commercial business, called it "ideal for commercial customers who know their drive routes and often work in urban environments."
  • They're also touting an optional feature called the Pro Power Onboard, which provides enough mobile power to run "everything from belt sanders to circular saws."

Of note: Part of the van's rollout is making the case that the transition for existing customers would be seamless.

  • Ford emphasized that its new electric van has the same interior cargo dimensions and mounting points for racks, bins and so forth as the internal combustion version Transit model.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

Charging network EVgo is going public via SPAC

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

EVgo, a big player in electric vehicle charging, said this morning that it's going public via a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Driving the news: The Los Angeles-based company, which has charging stations in 34 states, expects the deal will bring in $575 million that will "be used to fully fund and accelerate EVgo’s growth strategy and network buildout."

Jan 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

What Biden's EV push could mean for jobs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's swift effort to re-establish stricter fuel efficiency mandates, along with his broader push toward vehicle electrification, is as much about creating new jobs as it is protecting the environment.

Why it matters: The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the world in electric vehicle adoption. Catching up will require big investments in EV production — including battery cell manufacturing and mining of raw materials — to avoid dependence on imports and foreign supply chains.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.