European clean mobility provider B-ON and China’s Chery Group have created an electric vehicles joint venture (JV) and launched a new electric light commercial vehicle, called Pelkan.   

The JV, which will leverage the strengths of both companies, will develop, produce, and market all-electric commercial vehicles.  

B-ON will bring its European and North American sales networks, aftersales services, branding expertise, and product development capabilities to the table.  

Meanwhile, Chery Commercial Vehicle will contribute engineering expertise, manufacturing capabilities, and supply chain support. 

Reuters reports that Chery, as an investor in Luxembourg-based B-ON, will also provide the necessary working capital to support the JV’s operations.  

The Pelkan, which was showcased at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, UK, features a payload capacity of up to 1,350kg and offers two battery options of 43kWh and 54kWh.  

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These batteries provide ranges of up to 226km and 279km, respectively, catering to the needs of various commercial activities. 

The Pelkan is expected to be available to customers in mainland Europe from mid-2024.

B-ON was established in 2020 by CEO Bruno Lambert and offers purpose-built electric vehicles, fleet management software, and advanced energy solutions. 

Lambert said: “Partnering with a major world leader like Chery Group is a pivotal moment for B–ON and its growth. Combined, our ability to provide high-quality, low-cost electric commercial vehicles is unmatched in the market today, and I’m extremely optimistic about our joint prospects.” 

Chery Group chairman Tongyue Yin said: “As a leading global automaker, we have long recognised the need to be prepared for an electric future. Innovative, agile companies like B–ON are uniquely poised to supply the nascent and rapidly expanding commercial vehicle market in their local geographies but lack the manufacturing base to address the full mass-market demand.” 

In related developments, Chery recently disclosed plans to manufacture cars at a facility in Barcelona via a JV with Spanish company EV Motors.  

Earlier this month, Chery entered a strategic partnership with Octopus Electric Vehicles in the UK, which will see the leasing of Chery’s Omoda electric vehicles.