Consultancy Invictus Advisory sees founder take SEA board position
SEA Electric reports two-thirds of a US capital raising effort has been gained so far.
The Melbourne-headquartered battery-electric propulsion firm has made significant headway in the US and says it closed US$20 million of a US$30 million (A$28-$43 million) ‘Series A’ round last week.
The financing was led by San Francisco-headquartered international boutique investment bank GCA Global.
Participants in this round included strategic, financial and hybrid investors with Invictus Advisory Group (IAG) securing the first $20 million investment.
IAG was founded by Kevin Smith in 2013 and recently launched a US$750 million mobility and electrification fund focused on investing across the electric vehicle lifecycle from batteries to vehicle production and aftersales services, SEA notes.
“I look forward to lending my expertise to the SEA Electric team as we search for novel ways to increase company value,” IAG managing partner Kevin Smith says.
“It has been a pleasure getting to know the team and I am excited to be a part of our next stage of growth.”
Commonly, firms seek Series A funding – the first of three stages that follow seed funding – which often attracts venture capitalist interest when looking for enterprises with a track record but still at the early stages expansion.
The announcement comes as Hino in the US reveals SEA Electric’s role in its electrification program in North America.
“SEA Electric is continuing to develop, enhance and deploy its electric SEA-Drive technology in collaboration with glider chassis suppliers across a range of van and truck-platforms in all major global markets,” SEA Electric founder and president Tony Fairweather says.
“Having IAG’s investment support and Kevin Smith join our board, will both expedite scale and provide invaluable segment and market experience.”
IAG is said to be an investment advisory and consulting firm with direct access to major sources of financing and investment from Fortune 500 companies and the US government.
The investment announcement is SEA Electric’s first this year and a further independent board position is to be announced soon. READ MORE
Article by ATN fullyloaded.com.au, 2nd November 2020
Fulton Hogan and ORIX Australia Fleet Management have launched their first SEA Electric truck, which has zero emissions for an improved carbon footprint.
The all-electric SEA Hino 917 EV will be used as a road sign and maintenance vehicle at the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne.
Scott Thorpe, ORIX’s General Manager Sales and Marketing said, “ORIX is a Fleet Management leader, specialising in the acquisition, financing, and management of vehicles including electric vehicles. We share SEA Electrics’ ambition to identify and implement environmentally sustainable solutions that support organisational requirements. ORIX is extremely proud to have worked with long-standing client, Fulton Hogan, on this electric vehicle.”
The SEA Hino 917 EV costs savings through reduced fuel and maintenance. It is also whisper quiet, reducing noise pollution in urban streets.
In a world first, the electric truck has outlets for power tools to be used roadside, powered off the EV trucks’ battery rather than a fossil-fuel-powered generator.
Fulton Hogan CEO – Infrastructure Services, Matthew MacMahan said the team is excited to introduce the first fully electric maintenance vehicle into its fleet. “The technology aligns with Fulton Hogan’s commitment to sustainable transport and roadworks solutions.”
Glen Walker, SEA Electric’s Regional Director of Oceania, added that the SEA Electric team had some fun turning the idea into reality. “We joked we have just built the world’s most versatile zero-emissions power board,” he said.
“We thank Fulton Hogan and ORIX for giving SEA Electric another opportunity to prove the ability, adaptability and versatility of our SEA-Drive® technology. This vehicle also expands upon the increasingly productive collaboration between SEA Electric and Hino Trucks Australia.”
The electric truck is built on a Hino 917 platform however, future orders can be adapted to most OEM glider platforms. It is powered by the SEA-Drive 100 power-system with a 100kWh battery capacity, which produces 108kW maximum power. The SEA-Drive 100 also produces a maximum torque of 1000Nm, has a range of up to 275km (unladen), with an onboard three-phase charger that can be charged to 80% within five hours. The EV truck also has CCSD DC fast charge. READ MORE
Article by Big Rigs, October 21 2020
Australian electric truck manufacturer SEA Electric is set to partner with Toyota to deliver a new range of zero-emissions trucks, to be branded under Toyota’s truck subsidiary Hino.
The partnership was announced as part a major launch of Hino Trucks ‘Project Z’, which sets out the company’s pathway to delivering zero emissions commercial trucks into the market.
Hino is one of the world’s leading suppliers of trucks and heavy transport vehicles, and forms part of the vehicle giant Toyota’s group of companies. The company will expand its range of vehicles, which predominantly features diesel fuelled trucks, to include a number of electric and hydrogen fuelled options.
The project will see a new all-electric class 5 truck built on a Hino chassis and powered by an electric drive system supplied by SEA Electric, as well as a class 8 tractor trailer powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell system.
Hino will also develop an all-electric tractor trailer built with an electric drive system supplied by Hexagon Purus and an all-electric class 8 truck built upon the battery and drive system developed by Xos Trucks.
Hino expects to be able to deliver demonstrator models for customers of what it describes as “sustainable and low cost” all-electric and fuel-cell trucks in 2022, with full-scale production to commence before 2024.
The deal is a major coup for SEA Electric, which has already established an assembly base in Victoria, and will supply Hino with the electric drive system that will power Hino’s M series of mid-range trucks.
The electric drive system developed by SEA Electric has been deployed through a number of partnerships with major vehicle manufacturers. The company’s drive system was chosen by Ford to power the American company’s all-electric F-59 van, and has also been used in the Isuzu F Series truck.
SEA Electric currently operates a factory based in Dandenong in Victoria, and has sought to grow its presence into overseas markets, and operates an additional facility in California. The company has already supplied a number of all-electric heavy vehicles for use in Australia, including freight trucks, garbage trucks and a model of cherry-picker. READ MORE
Article by Michael Mazengarb, The Driven, 8th October 2020 – Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.
Hino Announces Zero-Emission ‘Project Z,’ Including Battery Electric And Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
Hino Trucks has announced “Project Z,” outlining its plans to develop and release several zero-emissions vehicles over the next few years. The project includes both battery electric and fuel cell electric trucks.
“We’ll have some early prototypes in 2021, we’ll have customer demos in 2022, and we’ll be in full production before 2024,” said Glenn Ellis, senior vice president of customer experience with Hino Trucks.
“We’re developing the biggest breadth of zero-emission vehicles in the industry,” Ellis claimed. “We’re developing Class 4 through 8 zero-emission vehicles with several different partners right now.”
Those vehicles include a Class 5 SEA Electric SEA-Drive 120a on a Hino M5 chassis (pictured above); a battery electric Class 7 Hino tractor with Hexagon Purus’ full electric drive system (shown at the top of the page); and a Hino XL Series Class 8 box truck powered by Xos Trucks’ X-Pack battery and electric drive system (pictured below). All three vehicles were showcased in Hino’s Project Z launch announcement video, which can be viewed here.
Additionally, Hino announced that it will be working with its parent company, Toyota Motor North America, to jointly develop a Class 8 fuel cell electric truck for the North American market.
The companies say they will leverage the Hino XL Series chassis with Toyota’s fuel cell technology, expanding upon the existing effort to develop a 25-ton fuel cell electric truck for the Japanese market which was announced earlier this year.
Takehito Yokoo, senior executive engineer – advanced fuel cell at Toyota Motor North America, noted that Toyota has many years of experience in developing fuel cell-powered vehicles, adding that “we are very confident and comfortable to say that it is scalable up to Class 8.”
Yokoo said that Hino will build the first truck in the first half of 2021. READ MORE
By Alex Crissey, Oct 5, 2020 – Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine
Columbus, OH, September 16, 2020 – Two Men and a Truck Columbus is excited to announce it will deploy an all-electric Class 6 moving truck for its central Ohio operations – completely eliminating tailpipe emissions and significantly lowering operating costs.
This project is in partnership with Clean Fuels Ohio and supported by grant funding awarded by the US Dept. of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office to demonstrate the viability of med-heavy duty EVs in vocational fleet applications. By utilizing a battery electric Class 6 moving truck powered by SEA Electric’s SEA-Drive® all-electric power-system, Two Men and a Truck Columbus will continue to provide the highest level customer experience, while significantly improving the company’s operational and environmental performance.
“Two Men and a Truck Columbus is excited to deploy its new all-electric moving truck,” said Justin Clarey, co-owner of Two Men and Truck Columbus. “The EV moving truck will provide a quieter, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly experience for our staff and customers, helping Two Men and a Truck demonstrate advanced vehicle technology today as part of our dedication to our customers’ experience.”
Two Men and a Truck is the fastest-growing franchised moving company in the country and offers comprehensive home and business relocation and packing services in 44 states. Woman-owned since 1993, they have decades of experience in home, business, and interstate moving, averaging nearly 9,000 moves per year. Two Men and a Truck can relocate your home or business across the street or across the country with their two Columbus locations, 39 trucks, and more than 100 employees who are dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations every day.”
Two Men and a Truck will utilize SEA Electric’s SEA-Drive® 120b Electric Power-Systems to convert an existing Class 6 Freightliner M2 truck to run as a dedicated battery electric vehicle. SEA Electric is a mobility technology company specializing in the electrification of commercial vans, trucks, and buses around the world. “SEA Electric offers a full line of electrification solutions adaptable to Class 2b vans all the way up to Class 8 refuse trucks,” said David Brosky, Regional Director, SEA Electric North America. “SEA Electric is excited to partner with Two Men and a Truck, W.W. Williams, Clean Fuels Ohio, and the US Dept. of Energy to bring our best-in-class SEA-Drive® Power-System to the Midwest US.”
SEA Electric will work with W.W. Williams to up-fit and convert the existing diesel Freightliner M2 truck to a full battery electric vehicle. W.W. Williams is one of the nation’s most diversified solutions providers, offering customers with mechanical service and repair, power generation, transport refrigeration, warehousing, and logistics. “W.W. Williams has a long history of working with our customers and partners to convert and maintain alternative fuel vehicles,” said Jason Milligan, Branch Manager for W.W. Williams Columbus. “We’re excited to partner with Two Men and a Truck, SEA Electric, and Clean Fuels Ohio and to add Electric Vehicle technologies and conversions to the range of solutions available for W.W. Williams customers.”
Through this diverse partnership, the project will utilize commercially available EVs, EVSE, equipment, and facilities, as well as leverage app-platforms to ensure seamless technology deployment and demonstration. “This proof of concept aligns with our continued mission to be a trusted provider of innovative solutions and expands our network of partners in this rapidly changing industry,” said John Simmons, Chairman & CEO, W.W. Williams. READ MORE
Blacktown City Council says it’s getting positive feedback from drivers after trialling an electric garbage truck for street cleaning and waste collection.
Blacktown is the latest council to explore replacing heavy waste services vehicles – which are major emissions contributors for councils – with more environmentally friendly options.
Blacktown’s Hino FE truck is fitted with an electric motor and battery from Australian automotive technology company SEA Electric, and has a 10 cubic metre rear loading waste compactor.
It creates 17 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions that a similar diesel truck would produce, Mayor Tony Bleasdale says.
Cr Bleasdale says use of an electric truck is in line with targets set by Council’s earlier this year, to achieve zero net emissions by 2030 for operational electricity, fuel and gas use.
Council is also in the process of doubling its rooftop solar energy generation and has a target of 100 renewable electricity use for our operations by 2025.
“It makes the electric garbage truck a perfect fit for our strategy” Cr Bleasdale said.
“So far, our drivers have all been impressed with the quietness and ease of operation of the truck.”
The truck also means the streets are quieter and more peaceful for residents, Cr Bleasedale said.
He says councils plans to add more electric and alternate fuel vehicles to its fleet in the near future.
It comes after City of Sydney announced in March that it was trialling its first electric truck.
“We have been testing whether the quiet trucks would fit through our laneways and perform as efficiently as diesel vehicles – so that one day soon, our garbage truck fleet can also be emissions free,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said on Facebook.
Sutherland Shire Council also agreed last year to a range of initiatives to electrify its fleet, including the introduction of four Hyundaai Ioniq electric vehicles into its car pool fleet and trials of a fully electric garbage truck and electric compact sweeper.
The first fully electric rubbish trucks hit Australian streets last May in the City of Casey, and in January the City announced several new electric trucks had joined the fleet at WM Waste Management as part of a new waste contract.
The trucks are powered solely by battery power and can operate five hours before needing to be recharged.
WM Managing Director Mark Jeffs said it was vital that essential services lead the way in going carbon neutral.
“Electric trucks are a key demonstration of our support for renewable energy as they significantly reduce our environmental footprint and improve the sustainability of residential hard waste collection,” he said in a statement.
Each electric truckload of waste will save approximately 180 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when operational as compared with an equivalent diesel truck, WM says.
WM says it hopes to move to more battery-powered vehicles in the future. READ MORE
Article by Government News, 20 August 2020
Energy firm looks to reduce carbon emissions and noise
Energy infrastructure firm Jemena is running what it says an Australian-first electric powered ‘cherry picker’ truck as part of its effort to reduce carbon emissions across the Jemena Electricity Network in Melbourne’s north-west.
Addition of the electric elevated work platform truck, aims to reduce Jemena’s carbon output by 30 tonnes per year and is the result of a partnership with Australian electric propulsion company SEA Electric.
“SEA Electric [is] a Melbourne-based manufacturer of electric vehicles and leader in converting commercial vehicles from diesel to electric,” Jemena executive general manager for electricity distribution Shaun Reardon says.
“The cherry picker was converted into an electric vehicle as part of a major reconstruction over a 12-month period.”
SEA Electric sales director for Australia and New Zealand Joe Di Santo says his team is excited to see the industry-first vehicle join Jemena’s Victorian fleet.
“It’s been a special and historical project for the management and engineering staff at SEA Electric to partner with Jemena in the development of this Australian-first 100 per cent electric elevated work platform service truck,” Di Santo continues.
“The SEA Hino FG all-electric vehicle is anticipated to reduce Jemena’s carbon output by 30 tonnes per annum.”
Reardon sees other gains from such a vehicle and foreshadows additions to the fleet.
“Not only is this electric powered cherry picker the first step in greening our fleet, it will also benefit our customers with a quieter operation and zero exhaust emissions,” he says.
“We will look for new ways to further reduce the carbon emissions across our electricity network in the future.”
Originally a Niftylift-built diesel cherry picker, SEA Electric converted the truck into a 100 per cent electric vehicle equipped with a 138kWh battery pack said to provide around 200km of range.
The elevated work platform is powered by the truck’s battery which will be charged at the end of each day and takes around six hours.
The vehicle began operating within the Jemena Electricity Network this week. READ MORE
Article by Australian Transport News, 14th August 2020
The Jemena Electricity Distribution Network in Victoria has just received its first electric Hino truck with Elevated Work Platform (EWP) in Australia.
Made by Melbourne’s SEA electric in collaboration with Niftylift, the elevated work platform truck will help reduce the operational carbon output of Jemena, which delivers electricity in Victoria and pipes gas in Victoria, ACT, Queensland and NSW, by 30 tonnes per year.
To make the truck, SEA electric took a Niftylift diesel cherry picker and converted it using one of its patented electric drivetrains and equipped it with a 138 kilowatt hour battery.
This gives it around 200 km of range for each single charge and the battery also powers the elevated work platform.
In addition to the reduced carbon emissions, benefits of switching to an all-electric work platform truck are less noise, for the workers and residents in suburban areas, particularly when fixing network faults at night, and the absence of toxic diesel emissions during operation.
“SEA Electric are a Melbourne-based manufacturer of electric vehicles and leader in converting commercial vehicles from diesel to electric” said Jemena’s executive GM for electricity distribution, Shaun Reardon.
“The cherry picker was converted into an electric vehicle as part of a major reconstruction over a 12-month period.”
SEA Electric says the electric cherry picker is an industry first, and is already in service.
“It’s been a special and historical project for the management and engineering staff at SEA Electric to partner with Jemena in the development of this Australian-first 100 per cent electric Elevated Work Platform service truck,” said SEA Electric sales director for Australia and New Zealand Joe Di Santo.
“Not only is this electric powered cherry picker the first step in greening our fleet, it will also benefit our customers with a quieter operation and zero exhaust emissions,” said Reardon.
“We will look for new ways to further reduce the carbon emissions across our electricity network in the future.”
The addition of the truck to Jemena’s fleet follows just days after Jemena announced a deal with Hyundai to supply green hydrogen for the car maker’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Jemena is also implementing other sustainable measures including rolling out 500 LED ‘smart street lights’ that use up to 75 per cent less energy than traditional lighting. READ MORE
Article courtesy of The Drive, by Bridie Schmidt, August 13 2020
Foodstuffs and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have partnered up to build New Zealand’s first electric powered refrigerated heavy duty truck.
From the tailgate to the engine and the fridge-freezer unit that sits on top, everything on the vehicle is powered by a battery.
It is the latest of several projects between Foodstuffs and EECA as they collaborate in the drive towards a carbon neutral New Zealand by 2050.
The full cost of the truck hasn’t been totalled yet, however EECA funded $400,000 towards the project which also included two other ambient trucks with all three now on the road.
It followed Foodstuffs’ successful application to the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund for co-funding support.
Foodstuffs NZ sustainability manager Mike Sammons says it’s “a huge feat of Kiwi ingenuity”.
“We couldn’t purchase a fully electric refrigerated truck, because it didn’t exist, so we had the idea to custom build one,” he says.
With carbon emissions from transport currently at 18% in New Zealand, Sammons is optimistic this new innovation will have a role to play in transport carbon reduction.
“We’re 100% committed to playing our part in creating more sustainable transport solutions, building a fully electric refrigeration truck is a massive leap towards a carbon-free future for New Zealand,” he says.
Sammons says data on the truck will be collected over the next 12 months “to really get an understanding of the potential for electric trucks as a viable alternative to the status quo”.
EECA transport portfolio manager Richard Briggs says they could see the potential immediately.
“Heavy vehicles make up less than 5% of the national fleet, but are responsible for 29% of land transport emissions, so decarbonising the heavy fleet as much as possible will have a huge, positive impact.”
EECA had previously co-funded Foodstuffs to deliver 61 fast charge stations and 28 electric delivery vans.
“Foodstuffs has developed a great track record in this space, proving the viability of electrification,” Briggs says.
With EECA’s backing, Foodstuffs pulled together some of the country’s brightest and best transport, electrical and refrigeration engineers to convert the standard Isuzu FVY, 24 tonne, 6-wheel diesel truck to be 100% electric powered.
The electric truck will operate from the Foodstuffs distribution centre in Grenada, Wellington, under the stewardship of Foodstuffs North Island Transport.
Fleet and safety manager Blair Inglis played a big role in driving the project forward.
“We knew from the start building a fully electric EV truck would be a challenge and we had our fair share of them along the way, including COVID-19, but we always knew if we could pull it off, this innovation could set the direction for the future of commercial transport in New Zealand and that’s very exciting,” Inglis says.
After extensive testing and driver training, the electric truck recently set out on its first official delivery run to New World Miramar, a 60 km round trip.
With a range of between 150 and 200km and capable of transporting 14 pallets of product at temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees centigrade, the truck completed its inaugural journey with ease.
Foodstuffs North Island Transport driver Bagish Bansal gave the truck its first official run and says he “really liked it”.
“The ride was smooth, it was really quiet in the cab and it’s great to know that you’re helping the environment while doing your job, that feels really good. I really hope this is the shape of things to come for my occupation,” Bansal says.
Automotive technology company SEA Electric carried out the EV conversion on the Isuzu truck featuring its SEA-Drive 180 power system.
SEA Electric NZ general manager Stephen Fairweather says it’s the first heavy refrigerated truck that’s hit the road, however a smaller EV refrigerated truck for Countdown home delivery was the first project.
He says the company has been involved in a number of EV projects from waste collection, home delivery, daily freight and elevated work platform trucks.
“This vehicle’s requirements is certainly the largest refrigeration unit we’ve tackled in New Zealand, although it has been done prior in Australia. With the correct auxiliary equipment it is manageable,” Fairweather says.
“SEA Electric’s drive system is ideally suited to the metropolitan delivery model where this type of requirement comes into play. Being able to configure the SEA Drive system to customers usage, GVM and range requirements enables endless possibilities,” he says.
The company also worked closely with transport refrigeration specialist Thermo King and Fairweather says alignment between both parties is “critical” to getting the job done.
Earlier this year, New Zealand fishing company Sanford also unveiled an all-electric chilled van as part of its Auckland deliveries.
READ MORE, Article appeared in the July Issue of TransportTalk, by Nigel Moffiet, July 21 2020
There is a commercial electric vehicles future awaiting this country, the domestic elements of which will unfold over the coming years
Like a wave building beneath a surfboard, SEA Electric president Tony Fairweather is feeling a surge of momentum in his business and the commercial electric vehicle (CEV) sector in general.
With 272 units harbouring its SEA-Drive electric power system built or committed to since the company’s commercial inception in 2017, he foresees another three-figure year this year and will be looking for four figures by 2022.
It may be unwise to assume any hyperbole here, given the company now has a presence in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Thailand, South Africa and Israel.
And given that it is opening an office in Vienna and is looking to gain full European compliance green light by the second-half of this year.
And that SEA-Drives can now be found in a growing list presently comprising Isuzu, Hino, Iveco, Ford van, Mercedes-Benz and Dennis Eagle vehicles, the latter two for waste-trucks – while further afield, though still over limited distance, is a project in Mexico to test a Volvo VNR platform for urban semi duties hauling bread.
Not to mention that its November US order for 100 battery-electric Hino 195 light rigids counts as amongst the largest inked anywhere so far for such vehicles.
Also keeping the current running is the opportunity of exploiting a global power systems market estimated to be worth US$3 trillion (A$4.35 trillion) a year in 18 months to two years’ time and the market for converting relatively young diesel trucks to electric propulsion one estimated to be worth US$20 billion a year.
Plus the continuing development of battery performance, which, according to official US figures, has grown 56 per cent in the 30 months as cost measured in dollars per kilowatt hour has fallen from around US$1,000 (A$1,450) in 2008 to less than US$200 (A$290).
Even if some ATN readers retain doubts about the likely impact of CEVs on their businesses in their lifetimes, one New Zealand development last year should make them reassess – Alsco NZ’s trial of an aerodynamically bodied SEA-Drive 180-powered Hino GH 1828 to do a daily 286km trip taking in Rotorua-Tauranga and back in the morning, then Taupo and back in the afternoon.
Range – in this case, 200km, bolstered by depot recharging – will continue to be a critical factor in Australian operator thinking. And NZ operators, not unlike those in several other countries, have very focused and conditional financial support to at least come to terms with operational suitability – the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) low emission vehicles contestable fund.
Gaining the support, which includes road-user charge savings, is crucial. Alsco NZ general manager finance Vanessa Atadeniz sees the total savings at half comparable diesel running costs.
Though the trial won’t wrap up until mid-year, Alsco group general manager NZ Mark Roberts reported in a company video in December: “The freighter seemed to provide and enticing financial case right from the outset.
“Not only will the shareholders be happy, it will greatly progress our own environmental goal to decrease our carbon footprint by 30 per cent before the year 2030.”
Alsco is also busy converting 15 diesel trucks to electric.
VIEW FROM DANDENONG SOUTH
Of course, there are challenges and challengers all around for SEA Electric but the latter are not the traditional names many might expect, those of the global original equipment makers (OEMs).
Asked to nominate its major competition, Fairweather names two US firms, Lightning Systems, the Colorado company powering vans and Ford and Chevrolet medium-duty trucks and buses, and Motiv Power Systems, which sells the Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis (EPIC) for light and medium truck and bus applications.
Which is understandable, as SEA isn’t doing business in the same space as OEMs, even if it works in the commercial vehicle market.
From SEA’s Dandenong South headquarters, the Australian firm sees its product in a strong position, with better performance and lower pricing than the opposition, and while not dismissive of the likes of the eCanter, believes it has that vehicle and similar covered, particularly on range.
“The challenge for OEMs is that they build engines and rely on services and parts,” Fairweather says.
“They have a lot of restructuring and repositioning to do.
“We provide a solution to them.”
He argues that while OEMs have spent heavily on national service and maintenance infrastructure, SEA is in a more nimble space, as vehicle simplicity and fewer moving parts make it more an in-depot proposition.
Rather than mechanics at dealer premises, SEA is developing a small corps of mobile aftersales engineers for more involved servicing.
It has eight globally; domestically there are two in Victoria, on in Sydney and one in Queensland, with plans recruitment in Perth, which now has three vehicles and another in New South Wales and more in Queensland for an expected Brisbane City Council order.
ATN visited SEA’s headquarters hard on the heels of All Purpose Logistics taking on an electric truck to bolster its Ikea contract.
“Ikea came to us after introduction from Kings,” Fairweather says.
While it is an example of a ‘customer’s customer’ dynamic leading to an environmentally-based investment decision, he notes no other customer’s customer that SEA has is “at the same level as Ikea in mandating zero emissions”.
Still, the link is also promising as Ikea is also in Europe and the US – the US deal is at quote stage but Europe is less advanced at time of writing.
Kings was famously an early adopter. It now has three trucks and three vans but it is seen as transitioning from the early vehicles that are based on the FAW glider.
Of the ANC vehicles, SEA Electric reports they have travelled 85,000km, travelling an average of 185km per day on a single charge, and made more than 5,000 deliveries with an average weight of around 2.5 tonnes.
“It is estimated in 10 months the three ANC electric trucks have saved a total of 90 tonnes of CO2,” it says.
LOTS TO LIKE ON LOCAL LEVEL
While government support in Australia for CEV uptake is underdone at a federal level, interest is significant for SEA Electric’s vehicles at state and council levels.
And in its home state of Victoria, the government has been keen to see such enterprises progress in the wake of car-making’s demise.
While the October 2018 announcement of its Latrobe Valley van-building facility in Morwell came with much state government fanfare and support, it is sometimes overlooked that start date is some time in 2021.
The Latrobe Valley means cheaper land yet it is really quite close to Melbourne.
SEA Electric president Tony Fairweather notes some minor drift, a matter of couple of months, in the timing as the company continues to work on sourcing and purchasing suitable land and tweaking the agreement.
Fairweather points out that SEA is “very committed to regional areas” and that the company will run out of space in Dandenong South in early 2021 and the company very much needs to free up assembly space.
Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) reports the company has a large back order for vehicles, and has employed five staff from Latrobe Valley who are working in their Dandenong facility while the Latrobe Valley operations get up and running.
The priority for the company is first to identify and secure a suitable site, and it will be working closely with local council to have this secured by the end of 2019.
SEA Electric has also started working with Federation Training to align the company’s skill requirements and course offerings.
Local government is an important sector with 11 units there, mostly vans, two buses and a tipper for the city of Yarra.
An indication of its importance is that SEA has a business development manager focused on it.
Fairweather believes state governments are in a position to smooth the path for CEVs without it costing a state anything.
“They could be a catalyst for early uptake,” he says.
For instance, this could be through allowing slightly heavier trucks to be driven on a car licence. Domestically this is at 4.5 tonne whereas elsewhere it’s six tonne.
“Uptake would be huge,” he says, though he admits there may be industrial relations issues attending such a move.
Or, given the payload issues with heavy batteries, allowing payload weigh to determine limits.
He is a fan of New Zealand’s approach, which is not an ongoing subsidy but financial support for one-off competitive projects that allow companies to test and trial to see if it’s suitable.
OEMS: A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP
How does SEA Electric’s relationship with the OEMs it supplies propulsion for work? The company gave ATN this insight into the process:
A two-way non-disclosure agreements are signed.
Then 2D and/or 3D drawings of the cab/chassis platform are shared with the SEA engineering team.
Vehicle performance output objectives are agreed and documented.
The applicable SEA-Drive platform is presented in 2D, agreed with the OEM, and then all brackets, mounts, fixtures, etc. are drawn in 3D.
Weekly updates are provided to the OEM, with OEM engineering teams welcome to be actively involved in the development process.
A completely engineered and adapted SEA-Drive system is presented within three months to the OEM engineering executives for approval.
Software and control systems are revised to ensure the agreed performance outputs are achieved.
This is facilitated towards the end of the ‘adaptation’ stage, with the SEA procurement team presenting to the OEM a range of components that can typically be fabricated or sourced locally.
SEA can provide resources to seek potential local suppliers and/or support the OEM in locating them.
Any components not able to be sourced locally can be procured directly from SEA and/or various global supplier options.
Once local options are identified, final drawings can be provided for quoting and ongoing supply.
The SEA procurement team will then introduce the OEM procurement team to our core global suppliers, so that relationships and accounts can be established, and direct procurement by the OEM can commence in the near future. At this time the first two completed SEA-Drive kits are purchased.
Once the first two SEA-Drive kits have arrived at the OEM (in full) and the two glider donor chassis are presented and prepared for assembly, SEA will deploy two trainer technicians and a procurement specialist to the OEM.
Suitable prototype assembly and training facilities will be required, to ensure the time on site is optimised.
At completion of this stage, the OEM will have two fully operational and tested vehicles, trained fabricators, assemblers, engineers and procurement team.
A complete assembly and procurement manual will be provided, including new drawing numbers and suppliers.
The execution stage will typically be completed within four weeks, with all travel and accommodation costs borne by the OEM.
SEA provides 24/7 global telephone and online technical support, as well as a mobile technician for each volume deployment.
The technical team are available to visit the OEM at any time to assist with further developments or optimisation as required.
SEA says it is 100 per cent committed to the success of its OEM partners and the performance and support of its SEA-Drive technology.
Furthermore, its suppliers are also committed to success, evident by back-to-back warranty and 24/7 direct support. READ MORE
Article by Rob McKay, ATN – fullyloaded.com.au, 21.05.20
New Zealand-owned waste management and streetscape maintenance company Civic Contractors has introduced a new EV truck to carry out sanitation and street cleaning.
The 11-tonne truck picks up various-sized wheelie bins and washes them with hot water and steam, killing pathogens and bacteria (including COVID-19) and eliminating bad smells.
Its dual function pressure-washes and sanitises hard surfaces like city streets and pavements, using steam.
The truck is the first vehicle of its kind in New Zealand to use hot water rather than chemical agents for cleaning and sanitising and has a system for capturing dirty water to prevent it from entering local waterways.
The vehicle cost over $300,000 to design and build and was partially funded by a governmental Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) grant.
The 11-tonne truck is a SEA Electric EV cab and chassis with body and equipment built by Manco Engineering.
It’s based in Auckland and began operating on May 18 travelling around 200km or eight hours before it needs to be charged.
Limitations in current EV technology means it requires a small diesel unit to heat the water for the bin-washing equipment, but Civic says this is a short-term solution until technological gains are made in this area.
Compared to a diesel truck of this size, the reduction in carbon emissions is around 25 tonnes of CO2 per year.
“Hot-washing and steam cleaning is an effective solution for killing pathogens and bacteria that spread disease, but also that attract rodents and make the rubbish bins stink,” Civic Contractors managing director Bjorn Revfeim says.
“Now with the COVID-19 crisis, the issue of sanitisation of hard surfaces and bins has become more important than ever.”
“We’ve custom-designed the truck in the hope that New Zealand will take further steps to increase environmentally friendly waste collection services such as residential food waste collections, and eventually eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags in public streets and parks bins.
“Initially, we are going to get the truck working within our existing streetscape contracts – so, cleaning street bins and other street furniture and footpaths. In the future, we hope to see it being used at hospitals and medical clinics, food manufacturing and processing facilities, and any commercial businesses that are sensitive to organic waste material.“At this stage, we’re interested to hear from other businesses and industries that might be interested in trialling out our new machine,” Revfeim says. READ MORE
EV Talk, Nigel Moffiet, 18th May 2020