SEA Electric Holdings Pty Ltd. recently closed initial private placement equity financing for total gross proceeds of approximately US$42 million. The net proceeds from the investment will allow SEA Electric to solidify its position in the electrification of commercial vehicles while funding its backlog and facilitating more pilot programs with operators.
SEA Electric was founded in Australia in 2012, with a proprietary electric power-system technology (known as SEA-Drive) for the world’s urban delivery and distribution fleets. With global headquarters in Los Angeles, SEA Electric currently has operations in five countries and more than one million miles of independent OEM testing and in-service operation in all markets.
According to President and Founder Tony Fairweather, the financing allows SEA Electric to accelerate its global sales efforts and further utilize its proprietary Sea-Drive 120b battery power system, while strengthening the delivery and distribution transportation segment for vehicles that operate in urban and metropolitan areas.
SEA Electric currently partners with commercial vehicle OEMs, dealers, operators and upfitters to deliver a new range of zero-emissions trucks and is on schedule to deliver more than 1,000 electric commercial vehicles this year. The company forecast is to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2023.
We are also very excited to welcome Exro Technologies as a strategic partner and shareholder of SEA Electric. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Exro and helping to optimize the utilization of batteries in a second-life application.—Tony Fairweather
According to Fairweather, the collaboration with Exro will focus on utilizing electric truck batteries for energy storage applications. Exro and SEA Electric will co-develop Exro’s Battery Control System (BCS) for operational validation and take the next step toward leadership in power electronics for mobility and energy management.
Working closely with its shareholders, investors and partners including Exro, exclusive financial advisor Eight Capital and international law firm Vinson and Elkins on this financing round, Fairweather confirms the company will also be exploring options to seek a public listing in the United States this year. READ MORE
Article by Green Car Congress, 14 March 2021
This is the second part of ATN’s look at two of Australia’s electric commercial truck early adopters’ experience of their experiment in support of Ikea using SEA Electric-powered light rigids. In it, Paul Kahlert of All Purpose Transport and Finn Dunleavy of ANC explain the driver’s view, how the managers went about it and how they view the future.
What driver training was there?
PK: I covered this in the routing part of the response – the vehicle needs to be driven differently to an ICE truck to maximise the regenerative braking and battery performance. We now have a program where a new driver travels as the ‘offsider’ for deliveries where they can see the different driving style and discuss this with an experienced driver.
FD: ANC selected some of our best delivery teams to become our first EV [electric vehicle] drivers. They were accomplished professional drivers already, but there was a learning curve in transitioning to driving a commercial EV. SEA played a crucial role, by providing training days and putting technicians in the trucks with our teams for the first month out on the road.
What was their attitude before?
PK: When the vehicle appeared at our depot, the initial response from the drivers was curiosity – they all climbed in the cabin, walked around the vehicle and commented that it was ‘just a Hino’. There was some scepticism from the older drivers who were quick to criticise the short delivery range, even though their ICE vehicle drove a similar distance with their planned routes. Comments were made such as: “I hope you have got a long extension lead”/”Do you want me to bring my camping generator to put in the back.”
FD: Unsure but excited.
PK: Drivers who have driven the vehicle all comment on the lack of vibration, ability to hear road users and speed off the mark as what they like. Our business model is using owner-drivers, so there is now an emerging appetite on when they can have one of these vehicles. Each day, the vehicle loads out of the Ikea warehouse adjacent to ICE vehicles – from the drivers’ perspective it is ‘just another truck performing home deliveries’.
FD: Surprised and over the moon. The drivers were blown away by the differences between what they had known about driving a truck and what the new EV vehicle offered them.
How did they handle the increased acceleration of an EV? Any speeding tickets?
PK: The driving teams have learnt that if you ‘drive it like you stole it’ from the lights, you will quickly diminish the range of the vehicle. It has become a ‘badge of honour’ for the driver to do the most distance and return the vehicle with highest battery percentage left.[As for speeding tickets] fortunately no. We have the vehicle branded with Ikea, so it is important that our driving teams are seen as responsible road users. This is company equipment and we have strong COR [Chain of Responsibility] processes that would not support speeding tickets.
FD: The EV trucks are incredibly responsive and agile, but they are also an 8,000kg truck running at full capacity, and they are governed to 110km per hour. Sustainability is important, but the safety of our people and of the general public is even more important.
How did they adjust to the silence of an EV?
PK: An unintended consequence of the silence is that the vehicle primarily delivers in residential areas. Traditional ICE trucks have engine noise that can alert pedestrians, so I have jokingly suggested that we should play ‘Mr Whippy’ music from the truck to warn pedestrians about the vehicles’ presence.
FD: Delivery teams found the quieter cabin environment a fantastic change to their day. Most truck drivers are used to sitting above a hot, vibrating, noisy engine, but in the EVs that is all gone, and they found communicating with customers prior to arriving at the delivery much easier to do in the new, improved cabin space.
How about brake use?
PK: Drivers like the vehicle ‘automatically’ restricting itself on the downward ascent.
FD: Regenerative braking is something they had to learn, in order to improve the energy recovery back to the battery packs, but it was all handled in the first week of on-road training with the team from SEA.
What did they report to management during the project?
PK: As above.
FD: In the beginning, ‘range anxiety’ was a big issue for the drivers, but after around two weeks, when they were more comfortable, all the feedback was nothing but good. We did have the odd day where charging issues overnight contributed to the vehicle not having enough charge to do a full day’s work, however, that was not an issue with the trucks but rather the charging equipment.
Are there any quotes from them?
PK: As above.
FD: Feedback from some of our drivers: “The EV is quieter and smoother than the diesel trucks. They’re great for driving in the local area and city driving. The customers love the EVs! They have a very positive impact at the delivery point, with customers intrigued to know which company the truck belongs to and whose initiative it was. We confirm it’s a partnership between Ikea and ANC.”
“Three to four days a week, customers ask questions about the EV such as ‘how many kilometres can the truck travel?’ and ‘how do you feel about driving it?’ We’ve even had customers calling their friends while we were on-site to say they just had a delivery by an EV!”
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE covering “Management Experience”, and the “Future of EV”
Article by Fullyloaded.com.au ATN, Rob McKay, 21st January 2021
Australia’s electric commercial trucks operational experience is still in its infancy but early Australian adopters are in a position to explain what it took to get this experiment on the road and what was learnt from it, in part one of a two-part series
While it might seem electric trucks have had at least a decade to prove their worth in Australia, the reality is that the country is only starting a journey that will be decades in the making.
Certainly, a few test vehicles found their way into a couple of the nation’s biggest fleets a decade ago or more.
But that can be seen as only the conception becoming a reality – a move at the cutting edge globally, before hydrogen fuel cell technology became something politicians and mainstream pundits knew about.
To gauge just how early we really are in the cycle, fast forward to 2020 and the reality is that there still is only one purveyor of commercial vehicle battery electric propulsion: SEA Electric.
Some competition is promised for the Victorian company that is now making progress in North America and has the local market, such as it is, to itself.
This, at a time when some customers are doing what they can to make their vehicle emissions reduction pledges a reality – global firm Ikea being one, but not the only one – and doing so on our shores using local transport companies.
Keep in mind also that the biggest vehicle in this effort is a light rigid.
Given the first steps have now been taken in what is effectively the start of the proof of concept stage and an experiment rivalling anything seen in Europe, ATN approached All Purpose Transport (APT) and ANC to gauge where they have taken us.
Each has had a year or more to work out how to set themselves up for EV use and how most effectively to use and work with them. APT, in the form of general manager Paul Kahlert (PK), and ANC, through national account manager Finn Dunleavy (FD), were able to respond quite comprehensively in a Q&A.
The questions sought insights into five main subjects: expectations, planning and testing, routes, truck performance and drivers’ experience. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
Article by Fullyloaded.com.au ATN, Rob McKay, 21st January 2021
Australian electric truck success story SEA Electric has supplied the first 100% electric tipper truck to the ACT Government this week, part of its target of running a zero emissions fleet by mid-2030.
SEA Electric, originally founded in Australia in 2012 but now headquartered in California, supplied a fully electric tipper truck powered by the company’s 100% electric SEA-Drive 100-10 power system.
With a 100kWh battery capacity producing up to 108kW maximum power and a range of up to 275-kilometres (unladen), the new electric tipper truck is able to deliver maximum torque of 1,000Nm and can be charged using its onboard three-phase charter to 80% within 5 hours.
“It was a pleasure to be present in our Nation’s capital for the handover of this 100% electric tipper truck” said Glen Walker, SEA Electric’s Regional Director, Oceania.
“This truck is ideally suited to the intended application of general cleaning and maintenance tasks. It will quietly go about its job whilst avoiding up to 30 tonnes of C02 annually that would otherwise be released by a diesel equivalent.”
Delivery of the new electric tipper truck is part of the ACT Government’s commitment to running a zero emissions fleet by the mid-2030.
“This 12-month trial of the new electric tipper truck supports the ACT Government’s strong commitment to sustainability which includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations to zero by 2040,” said Chris Steel, Minister for Transport.
Just this week, the ACT took the first steps towards delivering 90 electric buses, launching a sounding process for the supply of both the buses and the necessary supporting infrastructure.
The Transport Canberra’s Zero Emissions Transition Plan seeks to deliver a zero-emission public transport system by 2040 and has already started out with the introduction of a light rail to Canberra which has already seen 20% of its trips powered by 100% renewable electricity.
The ACT’s ambitious plans were part of a power sharing agreement between the ACT Labor and ACT Greens signed early November which also included a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2045. READ MORE
Article by The Driven, Joshua Hill, 23 December 2020
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