- Autonomous middle-mile delivery operator Gatik on March 28 announced a partnership with electric vehicle charging provider ChargePoint to develop an "electric ecosystem" for its North American fleet.
- ChargePoint will provide charging site design for the network and interoperability testing to Gatik customers that use the electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as fleet-specific software to provide telematics intelligence for customers' operations.
- Gatik first partnered with ChargePoint on autonomous electric box trucks for Walmart in 2021. The new collaboration is a "collective effort towards meeting sustainability goals," said Arjun Narang, co-founder and chief technology officer of Gatik.
The partnership with ChargePoint marks the beginning of Gatik’s "phase two" of company growth, Narang said. In the months ahead, Gatik plans to rapidly expand its roughly 25-truck fleet, and will add new locations beyond its operations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Ontario.
The growth focus is part of Gatik’s goal to meet an increasing demand from national retail and e-commerce customers for sustainable logistics solutions, according to a company announcement.
"We are looking towards deploying a large fleet for our customers. We are heading towards phase two now," Narang said. "We have formed deep relationships with customers, so now we are looking at deploying these at a greater scale. Some retail customers are interested in switching their entire fleet to EV, and this partnership will help accomplish those things."
Gatik trucks drive on fixed, short-haul routes from micro-fulfillment centers and "dark stores" designed for online shopping to pickup points at retail stores and distribution centers. They can be charged while being loaded and unloaded, Narang said.
Through the use of ChargePoint’s infrastructure and technology, Gatik is hoping to accelerate the use of its autonomous EV fleet and minimize upfront customer costs by reducing required electrical capacity.
"Our partnership with Gatik will help more fleets to realize their e-mobility and decarbonization goals," Rich Mohr, vice president of Fleet at ChargePoint, said in a statement.
Gatik has been focused on expansion over the last year; in August, it announced a new autonomous trucking facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to make middle-mile deliveries for Fortune 500 businesses.
"We are scaling very quickly," Narang said. "We are looking to grow the team, grow operations, and grow the infrastructure in general, so we are in a hyper-growth phase right now."
ChargePoint is also poised for expansion — the partnership was one of two it announced in a matter of days. The company will partner with clean energy investment firm Goldman Sachs Renewable Power to offer financial solutions to customers as part of the ChargePoint as a service product line.
Growth in the autonomous electric sector comes as the Biden administration is also turning its attention to EV charging infrastructure. In his $5.8 trillion fiscal 2023 budget, President Joe Biden proposed $1 billion for the creation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations.