Chanje is on the way in US after electric van launch

Chanje V8070 Hero 1 The Chanje V8070 large van has debuted Chanje V8070 Hero 1
A sliding door opens the side The van's power dock A sliding door opens the side
Chanje Interior Charging Screen The charging screen Chanje Interior Charging Screen
Chanje Interior IP Dials are electronic Chanje Interior IP
Chanje Exterior Rear 3 4 Downtown Rear access is through barn doors Chanje Exterior Rear 3 4 Downtown
Chanje Exterior Sliding Side Door Chanje Exterior Sliding Side Door
Chanje Product Battery The battery pack Chanje Product Battery
Chanje CEO Bryan Hansel Chanje CEO Bryan Hansel Chanje CEO Bryan Hansel
Chanje COO Joerg Sommer Chanje COO Joerg Sommer Chanje COO Joerg Sommer

Backed by HK’s FDG Electric Vehicles, US company is staffed by experienced EV executives


What the internal combustion engine was for passenger vehicle builders a century ago, electric propulsion is proving for light commercial vehicle start-ups, with US firm Chanje one of the most recent.

And such firms are attracting ranking executives from electric vehicle firms and alternative propulsion experts from high-profile existing manufacturers – and Tesla has not been immune.  

Chanje boasts ex-Smith Electric Vehicles founder Bryan Hansel as CEO, ex-Smith telemetry and vehicle dynamics engineer Austin Hausmann, along with former Volkswagen Group of America head of group electric mobility Joerg Sommer as COO and ex-head electric vehicle services for Schneider Electric Suresh Jayanthi as vice president (VP) for energy services.

Also on board are VP and general counsel James Chen, previously VP at Tesla, and VP of manufacturing Jeff Robinson, who was previously with Tesla, Ford, Mazda, General Motors and others.

California-headquartered Chanje, which reportedly is looking at global sales, has clean energy financier Ian Gardner as president.

Hansel is no stranger to the Australian market, having been in charge of Smith Electric and negotiated with the likes of Toll, TNT and Australia Post two years ago, when it spruiked the Avia electric truck with a view to setting up a Melbourne assembly plant.

"The future of transportation is zero-emission, we expect commercial electric vehicles to become the norm soon," Hansel says.

"There is a tremendous opportunity for Chanje because no one else in the marketplace can meet a fleet customer’s demand for delivery of large numbers of high quality, commercial electric vehicles."

The company has just unveiled its electrically propelled large van, the V8070, and states it has 160km range with 7.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) and can handle a 2.87 tonne payload.

The V8070 features a 10.4-inch, Android-based touchscreen display with LTE connectivity to control most of the van’s features.

It runs dual liquid-cooled synchronous permanent magnet motors with battery capacity of 70 kW.

Also in the works are said to be full coverage of Class 4 (6.3-7.2 tonne GVW) to Class 6 (8.8-11.8 tonnes GVW) medium truck models.

Chanje says it will work with large fleet customers "to provide renewable energy and charging capabilities as a turnkey service" with a view to supporting customers "as they transition to energy systems that are secure, stable, local, renewable and efficient".

This will be in the form of a microgrid depot solution that is expected to include four components:

  • Renewable energy
  • Charging infrastructure
  • Energy storage
  • Grid services

On the IT front, the company is eyeing autonomous driving technology and says it has already created intelligent connected vehicles with apps and touch screens, with enhanced two-way communication and reporting aiming to reduce operating expenses and improve carbon footprint.

"Traditional fleet systems infrequently ping vehicles for data and report only high-level information, like top speed and location," it says.

"Chanje is improving smart trucking by reporting real-time data to help organizations with route optimization, emissions calculation, energy consumption optimization, driver profile studies and reporting of service needs."

It promises to also make ongoing vehicle enhancements via remote software updates.

Chanje says it is a privately held US registered corporation with technology and investment from co-founding partner.

The partner is Hong Kong-based and listed FDG Electric Vehicles, a vertically integrated battery and electric vehicle manufacturer.

"FDG and other partners combined have invested nearly US$1 billion in bringing the medium-duty EV to market," Chanje says.

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