Swedish tech company Einride’s mission is all about reducing carbon emissions and making the Earth a more healthy place to live with its electric and autonomous freight trucks, pods and trailers. In keeping with that mission, the six-year old start-up on Thursday unveiled a new trailer that extends the battery range of the electric truck pulling it along with an updated Saga software suite aimed at improving efficiency, sustainability and productivity.
Einride co-founder Linnéa Kornehed Falck says these innovations are especially salient as the world faces a collision course of crises.
“The big thing is people became much more aware of how dependent we are on logistics and transportation to work and I think that became very obvious in the pandemic but also, of course, with everything we see happening in Europe with the war in Ukraine. The dependency on fossil fuel, is something people are starting to get much more aware of. That’s a dependence we want to break,” Falck told Forbes.com.
The new Einride E-Trailer is compatible with the company’s autonomous or remotely-controlled electric tractors. The key innovation is the E-Trailer’s batteries which the company says can extend the range of the e-truck pulling it by 650 kilometers or just over 400 miles.
Powered by the updated SAGA software suite shippers could be notified when the trailer is being loaded or unloaded, when the cargo is being processed or when preventative maintenance is necessary.
“What we’re playing with here is this modular concept of how you can use this trailer with both an autonomous and an electric trailer.” explained Falck. “We’re going to be able to take even broader market share of transportation, be able to provide for customers to go more long range and cover a bigger spectrum of their transportation. It’s the first time that someone has something like this so we’re very excited about this.”
The first pilot E-Trailers are expected to go into production next year according to Falck.
The virtual “brains” behind Einride’s systems has been its Saga applications. In service for several years, the company unveiled a significant update with four new apps: Evolve, Explore, Book and Orchestrate.
Falck describes Evolve as an “on-boarding tool that helps the customers start to analyze and visualize how they can go electric and how they can go electric-autonomous.”
Explore generates reports for the customer to be able to track emissions, energy usage and performance, while reducing inefficiencies, Falck said.
Book enables shippers to order, track, and manage all deliveries.
Orchestrate provides a complete snapshot of routes, assignments, trucks, and charges in real-time.
In addition, Einride unveiled three “premium” Saga apps: Deliver, Dock and Own, which provide shippers the ability to more closely manage loads through real-time updates along with aligning autonomous deliveries with shipping terminals and monitoring the profitability and sustainability of electric assets.
One of the key differences between the new and old versions of Saga is instead of running of several platforms the updated version has been repackaged to run on a single interface, Falck explained.
Another new technical innovation Einride revealed Thursday is its new API developer platform called Extend API.
“We want to provide for the tech community, or community overall, to be a part of this,” said Falck. “We want developers to be able to go in and create their own applications.”
All this comes as Einride is making major pushes to expand into the U.S. establishing locations in San Antonio and Austin, Texas and is seeking a location in New York City for a U.S. headquarters. Indeed, Falck revealed once that’s settled, the company will be co-headquartered in Stockholm and New York.
Having made its reputation with its unique electric driverless Pods that can be operated remotely, Einride has been adding to its roster of major customers.
In March, the company announced a partnership with container logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk to provide its Freight Mobility platform including 300 Einride connected electric trucks. Einride described the deal as its “largest operational contract for electric heavy duty road freight deployment to date” and the first major expansion of its U.S. operations.
Last October Einride announced a deal with GE Appliances (GEA) to bring its autonomous electric transports called Pods to this country for the first time. The deal initially called for six electric and one autonomous Pod to be used at GEA locations in Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky. At the time Einride predicted the number of Pods would eventually increase.
That’s all on top of Einride previously scoring major deals with a host of companies including Coca-Cola, appliance giant Electrolux, vegan food producer Oatly and German grocery store chain Lidl.
Not bad for a six-year old that’s still growing and evolving with a fast-changing market, a wistful Falck noted, declaring, “We can see the market changing very fast now. We’ve been doing this six years and it’s incredible to see how it’s changed in just those few years.”