Production of electric pickup trucks begins in Texas
AYRO, an electric pickup truck manufacturer based in Round Rock, Texas, has just announced the start of production at its local factory. The company’s first vehicle, known as AYRO Vanish, is an electric truck with a modular design intended for a wide range of urban uses.
The company began Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), a limited manufacturing process aimed at validating the efficiency of the production processes and systems designed to build Vanish.
Training, tools, processes and quality metrics are currently being evaluated online as AYRO prepares to scale to higher production rates.
As CEO Tom Weichenschlaeger explained:
“We believe that entering LRIP for Vanish is a major milestone for AYRO. Within a few weeks, we expect to be able to deliver the first vehicles to our dealers and partners so they can begin offering and selling Vanish beyond pre-orders.”
The company opened pre-orders for the Vanish in May, when a $250 deposit through AYRO’s online configurator secured a place for reservation holders in line to purchase the $33,900 car.
Last month, AYRO completed the certification process to obtain its street legal status in the United States and Canada.
Homologation is the process by which new vehicles undergo testing and verification that they meet or exceed vehicle regulations.
In the United States, AYRO Vanish is compliant with the LSV (Low Speed Vehicle) standards set forth in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, as approved by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Canada uses very similar regulations set out in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
As Wenchlaeger continued:
“We have worked tirelessly to get to this point in our operations. Our partners and dealers are very excited to share Vanish with their customers. We are also looking forward to seeing Vanish in action with customers and fleets, as it is just the first vehicle in our planned portfolio.”
While pickup trucks are common in Europe and Asia, we rarely see these useful vehicles in the United States or Canada due to the prevalence of full-size vehicles. AYRO hopes to help buck this trend with Vanish, which is small in size but designed for serious use.
The Vanish’s versatility is one of its key selling points, as ARIO engineers focus on adaptable design. The standard model of the pickup truck features a “common bed chassis”, which is essentially a compact flatbed truck. However, multiple configurations are available to customize it for specific utility purposes.
For example, while the flatbed is ideal for general transportation, especially large items, buyers have the option of equipping the Vanish with a folding tailgate and side gates to resemble a minivan. There is also the option of an enclosed cargo space, converting it to a truck or electric van.
The low bed height makes the vehicle ideal for loading and unloading, and the smaller size is more suitable for crowded urban areas. Use cases such as freight delivery, parcel couriers and other local utility jobs will likely be better suited with Vanish than larger vehicles. In fact, a company considering an electric pickup truck may find that the Vanish, which costs half as much, can actually carry a larger load in the back. They don’t offer the same highway speeds or long range as larger electric trucks, but neither are useful in the city — in fact, they’re a disadvantage in congested areas.
The AYRO Vanish certainly won’t replace larger vans and box trucks everywhere, but it represents a more convenient option for densely populated cities where these large vehicles struggle to navigate busy streets.
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