At LeasePlan, our mission is to provide you with What’s next in mobility, so we were thrilled to host our What’s next in LCVs event last Friday. This insightful webinar brought together leaders in the last-mile delivery space to discuss the main trends shaping the LCV market and the newest LCV models. Fleet managers were able to ask our experts about the future of LCVs and speak to a senior team from Arrival, a company leading the LCV transition to electric mobility (e-LCVs).

To mark the occasion, LeasePlan also published its new LCV report on the latest trends and technologies in the LCV market. The report also examines some of the latest vehicle models, including some of those we’re most excited about, such as the Peugeot e-Partner, the Maxus e-Deliver3 and the Ford E-Transit. Click here to download the What’s next in LCVs report.

Arrival of the future

Avinash Rugoobur, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Arrival, spoke about his company’s unique technology proposition and their ground-breaking plans for the future. Having seen that traditional methods wouldn’t allow them to achieve a more sustainable LCV mobility ecosystem that suited local communities, Arrival realized  they “would have to reinvent both the product and the process.”

To reduce costs – a major barrier in e-LCV adoption – Arrival has looked at the way vans are produced, settling on a model that focuses on low-CAPEX and low-footprint micro-factories that use more sustainable and scratch-proof composite materials. It is also using a flexible modular architecture with proprietary components that can be upgraded over time,  enabling last-minute players to create affordable best-in-class vehicles that stay evergreen throughout their lifetime. All this translates into “a van that can be produced locally, and adapted to what the local needs are.”

Patrick Bion, Chief of Product at Arrival, meanwhile talked about product range he helped design, including specs and features that customers will choose from to optimise their vehicles. He explained that Arrival had worked hard to improve the overall user experience, while ensuring safety and bringing down the cost of ownership.

Perils and promise

Commenting on the future of future of e-commerce and last-mile delivery industry, Anja Huber, Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey, explained that LCVs are more important today than ever before because of the structural challenges accelerated by COVID-19.  She also offered thought-provoking insights into how fleet managers could drive change in the last-mile delivery ecosystem by using the technologies are already available.

“The last-mile revolution will not necessarily happen through things like drones,” she explained, “but with technology that’s already available today, which just has to be rolled out and embraced by fleet owners, OEMs and consumers. We have everything we need; we just have to continue pushing and using that momentum.”

Looking ahead

During the Q&A session, speakers and participants considered the various challenges facing last-mile challenges, such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and the potential for new delivery chain models in urban areas. Among the interesting questions asked was whether fleet managers should invest in e-LCV vehicle now knowing that subsequent models are likely to offer better technology? “My short answer is yes,” said Arrival’s Avinash, because “making our vehicles modular enables them to be upgraded, so when a standard changes we’re able to change the components over.” This is no different to how we have become accustomed to upgrading desktop computers by swapping old internal parts for newer ones, he explained.

We are immensely grateful to all our participants and guest speakers Anja, Avinash and Patrick for taking the time out of their busy schedules to share their insights, and take this opportunity to thank them once more.

If you’d like to learn more about What’s next in LCVs, please subscribe to our LeasePlan Community for updates on our next events, follow #whatsnextinlcvs on social media, download the full What’s next in LCVs report, or re-watch the event at your convenience!

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