Specialty vehicle manufacturer The Shyft Group has received its first pre-order for all-electric walk-in delivery vans under its new Blue Arc sub-brand. The initial order comes from one of the largest automotive dealer groups in the Carolinas and will consist of 2,000 Blue Arc electric delivery vans to begin.

The Shyft Group ($SHYF) is a North American vehicle manufacturer that also specializes in assembly of commercial vehicles – particularly those in retail – and specialty services. The company itself is divided into two core entities: Shyft Fleet Vehicles & Services and Shyft Specialty Vehicles, which together employ nearly 4,000 people across ten states and Mexico.

These facilities provide regional manufacturing to North America for a full product line-up from Class 1 to 7 purpose-built vehicles. Last summer, Shyft Group announced plans to add a fully modular, medium-duty platform for customers beginning in mid-2023.

This platform will support Shyft’s electric delivery vans under its new Blue Arc brand, which debuted earlier this year. Weeks later, Shyft Group announced it had partnered with Proterra on a multi-year agreement to provide “Proterra Powered” H-Series battery systems into the Blue Arc electric delivery vans.

As those companies develop this new line of Class 3-5 electric delivery vans, Shyft Group is reporting its first official pre-order and its a decently sized one.

2,000 Blue Arc electric delivery vans already on the order sheet

The Shyft Group shared details of its first pre-order in a recent press release, which consists of 2,000 electric delivery vans for Randy Marion Automotive Group – a large dealer group in the Carolinas.

The companies expect government approvals this winter, after which they can finalize the multi-year purchase order ahead of production next year. The dealership network’s VP of sales Brad Sigmon spoke to the pre-order:

Our long history working with Shyft through its Utilimaster brand and the overwhelmingly positive response to the Blue Arc Class 3 all-electric delivery walk-in van give us great confidence in the entire Blue Arc line-up, the Class 3 and 4, as well as the Class 5 that is in development now. The commercial grade features from Shyft, engineered with first-hand knowledge of last mile delivery, are a true differentiator versus the other EV options.

The electric delivery vans offer a modular design, available in Class 3 to 5 and body lengths between 12-22 feet. Shyft explains that the last-mile delivery vans can deliver 150 miles of range at 50% payload capacity alongside spacious cargo areas. Shyft CEO Daryl Adams spoke to the company’s progress to date:

I am extremely proud of the work the Shyft team has done positioning Blue Arc EV Solutions to meet customer needs. From the beginning just 14 short months ago, we’ve been confident in our EV commercial vehicle design because we have served last-mile delivery customers for nearly 50 years. We’ve hit all of our critical development milestones and most recently we’ve validated that our range will meet our customers’ expectations and this shows not only do we know what they need, we are delivering it.

The Randy Marion team says it will begin taking customer pre-orders for the Blue Arc vans online and at its dealerships this fall. Van production is expected to begin in the Midwest United States and first deliveries are expected to begin in mid-2023.

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