Tevva raises $51 million as electric truck race heats up

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UK electric truck maker Tevva has raised $51m, filings on Companies House show. The company confirmed the figure to Sifted.

The new funding comes after a $57 million round in November last year and brings Tevva’s total funding to $140 million.

It’s the latest surge in the growing electric trucking industry, where a clamor of startups are competing to partner with big haulage companies and get their trucks on the road.

In 2021, 346 electric truck designs were recorded in Europe, an increase of 193% compared to the 2020 figure.

Converting the trucking industry to electricity will result in significant emissions savings. It is estimated that international freight transport represents more than 7% of global emissions.

Tevva’s projects

Tevva says the latest funds will be used to put its 7.5-ton all-electric truck into production from the third quarter of this year, as well as to develop its 7.5-ton hydrogen electric truck.

Tevva has had its first-generation electric truck on the road since 2019, in partnership with UPS. It is also working on a 12-tonne truck, slated for launch in 2023, and a 19-tonne hydrogen electric truck, slated for 2024.

Tevva’s switch to hydrogen will help it circumvent one of the main dilemmas facing the electric truck industry, Tevva founder Asher Bennett told Sifted in March this year. Companies want to increase the range of their vehicles, but that means sacrificing cargo space to include a larger battery.

Tevva’s answer is to use hydrogen as a range extender – to recharge the battery in the event of a power outage. Hydrogen is expensive, but Bennett says using it as a backup source means only a small amount is needed to recharge the battery and dramatically improve vehicle range.

Tevva is also interested in the possibility of self-driving trucks, Bennett said. “The truck could go off and do some autonomous deliveries,” which he says is well within the capabilities of today’s artificial intelligence technology.

The competitors

In Europe, there are three main competitors of Tevva: Einride, Volta Trucks and Arrival.

The Swedish company Einride was the first to install an electric truck on public roads. He launched the “Einride Pod” in 2019 and has partnered with companies like Coca Cola. It also launched a truck in 2020 which has been used by companies like Oatly.

Volta Trucks is also Swedish. It has designed a 16-ton truck and plans to deliver it to customers this year and next year.

Volta is also working on three new variants of the 16 tonne truck – which should be ready by 2025 – and 12 and 7.5 tonne vehicles, which should be ready by the end of 2024.

In Europe there is also Arrival, based in the UK. Arrival listed on Nasdaq in 2020 via a SPAC, with a valuation of $13 billion. Arrival is currently working on two vehicles – a delivery van and a van – and told Sifted it will begin production in the third quarter of this year.

There is also a lot of electric truck activity in the United States. Tesla announced its Cybertruck in 2019 – it’s expected to go into full-scale production at the end of this year.

Rivian, another US company, is building an electric SUV, pickup truck and electric delivery van, built through a partnership with Amazon.

The US is also home to Nikola, an electric truck maker that was hit by scandal when its founder was accused with a series of misrepresentations that portray the company as closer to releasing a working truck than it was.

Established car brands are also working on electric trucks. Ford plans to release its F-150 Lightning pickup later this year, and Volvo has already developed an electric truck.

Freya Pratty is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @FPratty and writes our sustainability-focused newsletter You can register here.

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