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Einride: autonomous freight transportation

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“There can be no sustainability without sustainable business,” says Robert Falck, CEO of Stockholm-based Einride, a company that develops autonomous electric vehicles used mainly for freight applications.

Einride is best known for its ‘Pod’ an autonomous electric truck that is controlled remotely. It can be used in ports, airports, warehouses and wherever speedy delivery is needed. “Autonomous vehicles are perfectly suited to goods, it makes shipping safer and smarter – and our freight doesn’t complain!” he adds. “Freight is where you’ll find the greatest potential for change. It’s easier to roll out infrastructure for repetitive and predictable vehicles.”

Robert used to work for a large car manufacturer. He could see first-hand the dependence on diesel and the huge cost of transitioning to sustainable solutions. In conjunction with an economic environment biased in favour of diesel (e.g. subsidies, taxation), he felt that change was not particularly forthcoming. Instead, he put together his own sustainable business case and created Einride in 2016 “to break this diesel dependency.”

“Europe has the largest diesel fuelled freight in the world,” he explains. “These trucks are all over our cities and motorways generating pollution and nuisance. What we are proposing is a unique approach to transport, an autonomous vehicle solution that can operate 24/7, improves efficiency, and is ultimately more sustainable. Our customers are already shipping with zero emissions, offsetting tonnes of CO2 every day and staying cost-competitive. Technology doesn’t get much cooler than this.”

In 2020, Einride received an equity investment from Norrsken VC, a venture capital firm backed by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. “The financing helped us to empower our proposition, move from being a bunch of guys with a great idea to a fully functioning business,” Robert adds. Einride currently operates the largest fleet of heavy duty electric trucks in Europe, planning to deploy another 500 units in the next 18 months. In the meantime, it has pushed the capabilities of the Pod to the next level, hitting a new speed record for an unmanned heavy transport vehicle and setting complete laps of the Top Gear and Goodwood circuits in the UK.

“In 15 years’ time, the world of motoring will have shifted to autonomous mobility solutions. At Einride we are convinced that electric is the future and that future is now.”

Company: Einride (Sweden)

Type of business: Transport

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI

Financial intermediaryNorrsken

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Sweden, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/sv/index

 

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