Electric vehicle start up, SEA Electric has announced it has strengthened its strategic partnership with specialist insurer NTI’s Truck Assist Roadside assistance service with the company also managing a 24/7 call centre for the OEM, along with also offering insurance options for operators in the EV space.
SEA Electric says that gaining the support of NTI further eases the customer transition into the zero-emissions transport world.
“By manufacturing the world’s first true range of electric trucks in Melbourne, and supporting them via an extensive nationwide sales and service network, SEA Electric has normalised the process for companies to convert to all-electric fleets,” said SEA Electric president for the Asia Pacific Region, Bill Gillespie.
“The next logical step was to strengthen our ties with NTI via this suite of initiatives and provide SEA Electric customers with the confidence that a specialist truck call centre is supporting their investment around the clock.
“All new SEA Electric trucks also operate with the backing of NTI’s Truck Assist Roadside assistance for the life of the SEA Electric vehicle’s warranty period of three years or 150,000km.
“Supporting SEA Electric customers by having expert help at hand if ever required, further adds to our operator’s peace of mind.”
For truck owners across the country, Truck Assist has grown a reputation as a dependable partner that keeps businesses moving, with its insurance policy offering designed to meet the needs of electric truck owners.
As Australia’s number one heavy vehicle insurance and roadside assistance provider, we are committed to providing SEA Electric truck owners a comprehensive product and service that is handled with expertise and care, every step of the way,” said Alan Hasted, general manager, Truck Assist.
“We’ve taken a hands-on approach to understanding how EVs work and knowing what customers need – from understanding the technology, to how they are manufactured, and ensuring that our operators are equipped to offer 24/7 specialist roadside support.
As a truck specialist we’re here to support operators to need to maintain fleet uptime whilst being conscious of environmental impacts, and seeking long-term economical options for their business.”
The 24/7 SEA Connect phone service is available to SEA Electric owners via 1800 SEA EVS (1800 732 387).
Continue reading the full article at Truck and Bus News by Jon Thomson published on June 7, 2022.
The Australian founder of a successful electric vehicle technology company says he is hopeful the 47th parliament will finally give the local sector the backing it needs to scale, after he felt forced to move to the United States.
Tony Fairweather, the chief executive and founder of SEA Electric, which has grown rapidly to be worth almost $US1 billion ($1.4 billion), said he was relieved to see a change in government, saying the hostile Coalition attitude towards EVs forced him to move offshore five years ago to grow his business.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review from his base in Miami, Mr Fairweather said he was hopeful the change in national leadership – along with the slew of climate-focused independents and Greens sitting on the crossbench – would lead to government interventions that would enable him to expand manufacturing facilities back home in Melbourne, while encouraging more Australian companies to manufacture the components needed for electric vehicle systems.
“For the first time I’m actually excited about what the next few years will bring in the climate change space and in the electric vehicle space,” Mr Fairweather said.
“I’ve been very, very disappointed to be in this industry in Australia up until now.
“Electrification has not only not been acknowledged, it’s actually been mocked in government over the last couple of years.”
In late 2021, former prime minister Scott Morrison backtracked on his claim that EVs would “end the weekend” as they were incapable of towing trailers, boats or reaching a family’s favourite camping spot.
Labor has since promised to make it cheaper to buy EVs (which will be exempt from import and fringe benefits taxes), expand charging infrastructure and develop policy settings to encourage Australian manufacturing of EV components.
SEA Electric was founded in Melbourne in 2012, and makes electric power systems for delivery vans and trucks. After five years of research and development, Mr Fairweather said he decided to leave Australia in 2017 when orders started coming in, but he couldn’t secure the funding locally to buy the necessary components.
“We needed to fund the growth of our business. We couldn’t get anything in Australia. We tried banks, we tried government support, we tried ARENA [the Australian Renewable Energy Agency] and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation,” he said.
Mr Fairweather said a big four bank gave him a small trade finance facility, which it later pulled.
“Their excuse was effectively they didn’t believe in the electrification of commercial vehicles. We were debt free, but we had no funding to grow,” he said.
“It became clear that the only way I was going to be able to raise the capital that this business needed was to come to the US, to a country that recognised electrification.
“Australia was a tough place to start an electric technology business.”
Since migrating to the US, SEA Electric has raised $US70 million, has an order bank approaching 2000 units and has struck partnerships with major OEMs.
Its electric power systems have driven more than 2.5 million kilometres.
Mr Fairweather said the new government would have numerous levers to encourage the industry in Australia, such as customer rebates and mandating that commercial fleets have a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles.
“If the current government supports and recognises [electrification] then the banks, the capital markets and investors and new components suppliers will get on board,” he said.
Behyad Jafari, chief executive of the Electric Vehicle Council, said Mr Fairweather’s optimism was shared by the sector, who were happy to have “a more electric vehicle-friendly” government in power.
“The electric vehicle industry is certainly very enthused and excited about the change of government,” he said.
Mr Jafari said the government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 would provide much more certainty for clean energy and electric vehicle investors.
Continue reading the full article at The Australian Financial Review by Tess Bennett published on June 6, 2022.
Bill Gillespie, SEA Electric’s President, Asia Pacific Region has made this statement relating to the weekend’s Federal election result.
“We congratulate the new Federal Government on their election success over the weekend, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years to advance the uptake of electric vehicles across the nation,” said Mr Gillespie.
“As Australia moves towards our net zero emissions goals, it is imperative that the country embraces sustainable technology that delivers real results.
“Locally, emissions from the road transport task make up 19 per cent of the country’s total emissions, with heavy vehicles contributing 38 per cent of that total.
“Throughout the lead up to the election, the Australian Labor Party has noted several key policies, such as the Driving the Nation Fund, the National Reconstruction Fund, and the Powering Australia plan, which have the potential to be positives for EV adoption and furthering local manufacturing.
“The EV movement in Australia has a bright future, and we are excited to be at the forefront.”