Autonomous & Electric Truck Maker final ride rolls into Germany and represents its first new market in Europe outside of its native Sweden.
Founded in Stockholm in 2016, Einride has raised approximately $150 million in funding to commercialize an autonomous cargo truck without a cab, one that can be controlled remotely by human operators when needed. It’s a notable departure from the array of competing autonomous truck companies out there, essentially adapting existing trucks for an autonomous world – Einride’s trucks are tailored for autonomy, with no physical space for a human driver to even sit.
While these so-calledpods”have been fully trialled with commercial customers, regulatory hurdles have led to what Einride has to offer human powered electric trucks as part of the transition to full autonomy, which are available to shippers and carriers in Sweden and in the US, where it launched last year, in addition to its software-based Saga platform for running and optimizing fleets.
It’s also worth noting that Einride is gearing up to deploy its fully autonomous pods on U.S. public roads in partnership with General Electric Appliances (GEA), with plans looming on a mile-long stretch of road between GEA’s plant and a warehouse in Selmer, Tennessee.
Einride has attracted a fairly high-profile list of early customers alongside GEA, including Oatly, Beyond Meat, Bridgestone and Maersk, the latter representing Einride’s largest electric transportation order worldwide, with the Danish shipping company ready to roll out about 300 trucks in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
With the German launch, Einride is launching a regional office in Berlin, with plans to create logistics hubs in other key urban areas. This will also require a purpose-built charging network, which Einride said it will create along Germany’s major commercial routes and adjacent trading regions.
For the German launch, Einride is partnering with home appliance manufacturer Electrolux, who will work with Einride to build the charging infrastructure in its storage facilities.
“In addition to this first collaboration, we will focus on metropolitan areas such as the Ruhr, Hamburg, Berlin, where we plan to build out our own charging network along key trade routes to support further potential partners in their fleet transformation,” Einride CEO Robert Falck explained. it out to australiabusinessblog.com. “Initially, our focus is on three key operational areas: part-load distribution, shuttles between distribution centers and factories, and the electrification of the first and last mile of intermodal transport.”
But while the focus will initially be entirely on its electric trucks, automation through its self-driving pods will be next on the agenda.
“As we expand our presence and customer list in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), we also look forward to finding local partners who are ready to implement the first pilot projects with the Einride Pod, as we have already done in Sweden and the US,” Falck added.
As one of Europe’s largest economies and a freight and logistics powerhouse by road and sea, Germany represents a clear expansion for Einride in the European market. In addition, today’s announcement comes a year after Germany essentially gave driverless cars the green light on public roads, although final legislation still winding its way through the relevant regulatory processes.
“Germany is at the wheel of Europe – where it goes, others follow suit,” Falck said. “We have the capability and technology to bring the biggest change to the freight industry since the invention of the internal combustion engine, and are ready to join forces with local partners to make transportation history.”