The Swedish autonomous and electric truck company, Einride, recently made headlines as it expanded operations into Norway and secured significant funding. This promising startup is set to revolutionize freight services with its innovative technology and sustainable approach.
In a partnership with PostNord, Scandinavia’s leading postal service, Einride is poised to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Norway. The company expects a reduction of 2,100 tonnes over the next three years. Norway has the highest number of electric vehicles per capita globally, and it aims for all heavy vehicles to be zero-emission by 2040. This could potentially cut CO2 emissions by 4.4 million tonnes, or nearly 9% of the country’s annual emissions.
PostNord will employ Einride’s electric trucks to lessen its fossil-fuel-driven deliveries in Norway by over 1,500 km (932 miles) per day. Starting with six trucks deployed in the Oslo region, the plan is to increase to 35 electric connected trucks by June 2024. PostNord will pay a monthly fee to access electric and digital service, including the electric trucks owned by Einride. The exact financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of its expansion strategy, Einride also recently secured a sizeable investment of $500 million. Composed of $200 million from an equity-based Series C round and $300 million in debt funding, the capital injection is earmarked for enhancing Einride’s vehicle fleet and further expansion in Europe and North America. High-profile backers include Northzone, EQT Ventures, Temasek, the Swedish pension fund AMF, Polar Structure, and Norrsken VC. Barclays Europe led the debt funding initiative.
Established in Stockholm in 2016, Einride initially focused on developing a cab-less self-driving cargo truck. However, due to regulatory challenges, Einride adopted a two-pronged strategy, introducing human-driven electric trucks as an interim step towards autonomy. These vehicles are already available to shipping companies and carriers in Sweden and the U.S., powered by Einride’s Saga platform that assists clients in operating and optimizing their fleets.
In recent months, Einride has expanded into various European markets, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, with Norway being the latest addition. Einride services notable clients such as Electrolux and GE Appliances. The latter partnership involves deploying fully autonomous pods in a U.S. pilot, a costly endeavor when considering the expenses linked with developing hundreds of trucks and associated software. This, in essence, is why Einride needed to raise a significant financing round.
Despite the global pandemic’s economic implications, the freight trucking industry shows no signs of slowing down. It is expected to grow from a $2.1 trillion industry in 2020 to nearly $3 trillion within the next five years. Investors are optimistic about technology advancing the freight and logistics sectors.
With these recent developments, Einride is steadily positioning itself at the forefront of the trucking industry’s future. Its growth and focus on sustainability and innovation underscore its commitment to reinvent freight services for a cleaner, safer, and more efficient future.