Gatik electric autonomous delivery vehicle

The company’s first new electric trucks will go into service this month at Walmart operations in New Orleans, with additional deployments expected in the coming months

Gatik, the AV short-haul logistics company that entered the Canadian market last November in a deal to supply Loblaw Companies Ltd. with autonomous grocery delivery vehicles, today unveiled the first electric vehicles in its fleet.

The company’s debut EVs are electric autonomous box trucks — specifically, converted Ford Transit 350 HDs developed in collaboration with Via Motors Inc., a Utah-based EV developer and manufacturer of both OEM conversion vehicles as well as its own EVs.

“Helping our customers as they meet their ambitious emissions targets is a key pillar of our long-term strategy,” says Gautam Narang, Gatik’s CEO and co-founder.

A range of about 190 kilometres (120 miles) and can be fully charged in less than 90 minutes

First launch in New Orleans

Gatik, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., but also has a sizeable operation in Toronto, is deploying its first electric trucks for a customer in New Orleans.

In an e-mail interview with Electric Autonomy, Narang revealed that the customer is Walmart, which was also Gatik’s first flagship retail client in the U.S. To start, the deployment is limited to just three EVs.

Gatik says its new vehicles feature an all-electric power train, a range of about 190 kilometres (120 miles) and can be fully charged in less than 90 minutes. According to a statement, it partnered with Via Motors “due to their sterling record of successfully electrifying existing OEM platforms, while supporting new product launches.”

Asked how and when the company plans to start introducing EVs in other markets for other retail customers, Narang would only say: “We’ll be sharing more information on additional deployments with our electric product offering in the coming months.”

Charging collaboration

Gatik did reveal that it is also working closely with its EV customers to install charging stations at distribution hubs and vehicle depots.

“The B2B short-haul market is ideally suited to electric technology thanks to the route lengths involved,” says Narang. “Trucks can charge while they’re being loaded, enabling continuous service during operational hours.”

Loblaw partners with Gatik to deploy Canada’s first autonomous delivery fleet