UK-based EV startup Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC) announced plans to build up to 5,000 new electric commercial vehicles per annum under its own brand and on behalf of third-party manufacturers at an all-new facility in the Midlands, all of which will be based on its new state-of-the-art EV platform.
Called Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard (PACES), the innovative and highly flexible architecture allows the niche vehicle industry to meet the considerable challenges of transitioning to an electric future by providing a sophisticated, yet cost-effective EV platform “off-the-shelf”.
Highly customisable for different body styles, sizes and configurations, PACES can support any low-to-medium volume manufacturer, specialist vehicle converter or start-up, and complies with ISO regulations and European Small Series Type Approval safety standards. Its cell-to-chassis system means batteries are fitted directly to the primary structure (rather than having a separate pack), optimising stiffness and minimising weight.
Fully supported by a leading UK-based EV technology supply chain, WEVC has undergone a comprehensive development process with PACES over the last two years and is market-ready. Capable of providing the basis for a whole new range of bespoke electric last mile, vans, trucks and buses – in fact, any type of commercial vehicle – production manufacturing of PACES-based all-new EV commercial vehicles by WEVC is scheduled to start in the Midlands in Q3 2023.
Watt EV Company will reveal a first prototype electric commercial vehicle, based on PACES, by end of Q1 2022, a project that is supported by Innovate UK through its Transitioning To Zero Emission Vehicles Collaborative Research and Development competition.
Neil Yates, founder and owner of Watt Electric Vehicle Company, said: “Our PACES architecture and manufacturing processes are flexible and scale-able, a first “off-the-shelf” product specifically targeted for the low-to-medium volume industry capable of supporting any type of EV, with a cell-to-chassis structural battery system that optimises chassis stiffness and minimises vehicle weight.
“With ever-increasing pressure on urban emissions, coupled with the growth in home delivery, we have been approached by multiple commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators, who are in desperate need of developing the next generation of electric vans, trucks and buses.
“As electrification of the sector only accelerates, what these companies need is a ready-to-go, sophisticated yet cost-effective EV platform on which to build their vehicles – that is Watt Electric Vehicle Company’s PACES architecture.
“Thanks to the support of Innovate UK grant funding, we will reveal our first prototype electric commercial vehicle, based on PACES, by end of Q1 2022. Production of a new range of PACES-based electric commercials by WEVC is then scheduled to begin in our new Midlands facility in Q3 2023. Through this facility, we will have the capacity to build 2,500-5,000 units a year.”
WEVC is also a manufacturer of premium sports EVs, producing its own Porsche 356-inspired Coupe from its bespoke facility in St Columb Major/near to Newquay Airport. The first production car to use PACES, the Coupe is a sub-1,000kg rear wheel drive fixed-head sports car that combines retro looks with state-of-the-art EV technology, featuring a 40kWh battery structurally integrated into the chassis.
Ride, handling and steering have been honed for driver engagement and real-world enjoyment, while the weight distribution is near 50:50 weight with a mid-mounted 120kW electric motor. WEVC has already completed more than 12-months of testing and development, with a WTLP range of up to 230 miles and a 0-62mph time of just over five seconds. 21 Launch Edition Coupes available to order now priced from £81,250; customer deliveries commence early 2022.